Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Tumbes Tyrannulet (Phaeomyias tumbezana)


French: Tyranneau de Tumbes German: Tumbeskleintyrann Spanish: Piojito de Tumbes

Phyllomyias tumbezana


, 1877,

Tumbes, Peru


Until recently#R considered conspecific with P. murina, but differs in its larger size (effect size for tail 2.05, score 2); whitish vs yellowish belly (2); blacker bill (1); vaguer, buffier wingbars (1); distinctly different song, a short phrase of about five notes, typically a few very squeaky and a few rather gravelly, vs a usually gravelly nervous series of notes which suddenly increases in amplitude and pitch, “je-je-je-je-jE-JE-JEE-Ju”, with minor variations (last note lower in pitch and amplitude), hence major difference in amplitude ratio (3) and number of notes (3)#R; split supported by molecular evidence#R. Three subspecies recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. t. tumbezana (Taczanowski, 1877) – Pacific lowlands of SW Ecuador (C Manabí to W Loja) and NW Peru (Tumbes, E Piura, NE Lambayeque).
  • P. t. inflava Chapman, 1924 – arid NW Peru from C Piura and C Lambayeque S to N Lima.
  • P. t. maranonica J. T. Zimmer, 1941 – arid NC Peru in Marañón Valley, W Amazonas, E Cajamarca and E La Libertad.
  • Descriptive notes

    12–12·5 cm; 10–13 g. Rounded head with indistinct whitish supercilium; drab brownish grey above with vaguely ochraceous or buff wingbars on dusky background; throat, breast... read more


    Nominate gives a sneezy or buzzing “dzeek!” or “dzz-chew!”, whereas race maranonica utters... read more


    Perhaps most abundant in desert scrub, light woodland, gardens and dry forest, but also occurs in... read more

    Food and feeding

    No known differences in diet and foraging behaviour between this species and P. murina.


    Season post-rains, early Feb to mid Apr, although territories occupied from Nov (at least in nominate race in SW Ecuador) and dependent... read more


    None definitely known, but is only present seasonally at some localities, e.g. Cerro Blanco, near... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Fairly common to common across most of distribution, and is known from several protected areas in both Ecuador and Peru. Like... read more

    Recommended citation

    del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Tumbes Tyrannulet (Phaeomyias tumbezana). 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 8 December 2019).