Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Tufted Flycatcher (Mitrephanes phaeocercus)


French: Moucherolle huppé German: Gelbbauch-Schnäppertyrann Spanish: Mosquero moñudo común
Other common names: Northern Tufted Flycatcher

Mitrephorus phæocercus

P. L. Sclater

, 1859,

Córdoba, Veracruz, Mexico


Closely related to M. olivaceus, and previously considered conspecific. Race eminulus appears valid, being clearly intermediate in breast colour between berlepschi and aurantiiventris (merged with former in HBW). Other proposed races include burleighi (Oaxaca) and nicaraguae (Nicaragua), both merged with nominate; and vividus (Panama), merged with aurantiiventris. Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. p. tenuirostris Brewster, 1888 – W Mexico from SE Sonora and SW Chihuahua S to W Jalisco.
  • M. p. phaeocercus (P. L. Sclater, 1859) – Mexican Tufted Flycatcher – mountains of E & C Mexico (SW Tamaulipas, Zacatecas and C Jalisco to Oaxaca and Chiapas) S to NE Nicaragua.
  • M. p. aurantiiventris (Lawrence, 1865) – Costa Rican Tufted Flycatcher – Costa Rica and Panama (E to Serranía del Darién).
  • M. p. eminulus Nelson, 1912 – E Panama (Cerro Pirre) and adjoining NW Colombia (Chocó).
  • M. p. berlepschi E. J. O. Hartert, 1902 – Choco Tufted Flycatcher – NW Colombia (Chocó) S to NW Ecuador (Imbabura).
  • Descriptive notes

    12–13·5 cm; 8·5 g. Nominate race has brown-tinged olive crown, distinct pointed crest; pale loral spot and thin buff-white eyering set against cinnamon face and side of... read more


    Song single or repeated “tchwee” or “turee” notes; also a “pseeu”, “seeeu” or “seer” during... read more


    Borders, treefall gaps, clearings and broken canopy of montane forests, including pine (Pinus... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects. Usually found in pairs. Sits upright on exposed perch in low to upper levels of forest; sallies to capture prey, often returning... read more


    Apr–Jun in Costa Rica and Feb in Colombia (Chocó). Nest a shallow cup of dark rootlets and green moss, liverworts and lichens, lined... read more


    Resident. Altitudinal migrant in parts of Mexico N of isthmus; locally, descends to Sinaloa and... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon to common or fairly common, and local. Fairly common along lower Buenaventura road in Valle, in Colombia; in Ecuador, fairly common near... read more

    Recommended citation

    Farnsworth, A. & Lebbin, D. (2019). Tufted Flycatcher (Mitrephanes phaeocercus). 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).