Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Tawny-crowned Pygmy-tyrant (Euscarthmus meloryphus)


French: Tyranneau à calotte fauve German: Graubrust-Zwergtyrann Spanish: Tiranuelo copetón

E[uscarthmus]. meloryphus


, 1831,

Vale Fundo, southern Bahia, Brazil


Hitherto treated as conspecific with E. fulviceps (which see). Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • E. m. paulus (Bangs, 1899) – NE & C Colombia (Magdalena and Guajira to Norte de Santander and S in Magdalena Valley to Huila) and N Venezuela (E to Sucre, S to NE Bolívar).
  • E. m. meloryphus Wied, 1831 – E Brazil (Maranhão and Ceará S to Mato Grosso and Rio Grande do Sul), N & E Bolivia (S from Pando), E Paraguay, NW & NE Argentina (S to Tucumán and, in E, to Córdoba and N Buenos Aires) and Uruguay; rare migrant to extreme SE Peru (E Puno)#R.
  • Descriptive notes

    10–12 cm; 4·6–10 g. Tiny, peculiar pygmy-tyrant with bushy, bright rufous crown. Nominate race has lores and indistinct eyering dull buffy to whitish; drab... read more


    Distinctively noisy, sometimes in duets; dry, unmusical “plee-plit-irick” endlessly... read more


    Arid lowland and montane scrub, overgrazed pastures with scattered dense bushes, dry weedy fields... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, including larvae. Forages alone or in pairs, very near (mostly below 2 m) or even on ground in densest shrubs; often extremely... read more


    Season Oct–Dec in Argentina (probably similar in S Brazil, where nest found in early Nov) and Oct–Nov in N Colombia, with... read more


    Mainly resident; populations in extreme S appear to be present only during breeding season,... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Fairly common to common, even locally abundant, e.g. in N Venezuela. Occurs in many protected areas, including at least a dozen... read more

    Recommended citation

    Fitzpatrick, J. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Tawny-crowned Pygmy-tyrant (Euscarthmus meloryphus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 12 December 2019).