Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Velvety Black-tyrant (Knipolegus nigerrimus)


French: Ada noir German: Kurzschopf-Dunkeltyrann Spanish: Viudita aterciopelada

Muscicapa nigerrima


, 1818,



Emendation of original spelling hoflingi to hoflingae is justified, based on internal information#R. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • K. n. hoflingae Lencioni-Neto, 1996 – NE Brazil from W Pernambuco to C Bahia (Chapada Diamantina); recorded also in Rio Grande do Norte#R and Ceará#R.
  • K. n. nigerrimus (Vieillot, 1818) – CE & SE Brazil from Goiás, Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo S to Rio Grande do Sul, including hills of Rio de Janeiro (Corcovado, Pico da Tijuca, Pico da Gávea); also, possibly this race, in CE Tocantins#R.
  • Descriptive notes

    17·5–18 cm. Male plumage is glossy blue-black, head with small bushy crest; base of primaries white (hidden or mostly so at rest, conspicuous in flight); iris dark red... read more


    Vocalization in display-flight is a short high "See". Call is a somewhat hoarse... read more


    Grassy or rocky areas, usually near trees or shrubby cover; mostly 1800–2700 m, locally down... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects. Generally in pairs, and often conspicuous. Usually forages near ground, sallying for prey.


    No information. Believed to nest in burrows among rocks near streams.


    Reportedly an altitudinal migrant during austral winter in Itatiaia; probably resident elsewhere.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon to fairly common, locally common. Common near the Corcovado Statue above Rio de Janeiro; numerous in high grasslands of Serra do Itatiaia.... read more

    Recommended citation

    Farnsworth, A., Langham, G. & Boesman, P. (2019). Velvety Black-tyrant (Knipolegus nigerrimus). 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 5 December 2019).