Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Western White-throated Spadebill (Platyrinchus albogularis)


French: Platyrhynque à gorge blanche German: Weißkehl-Spatelschnabeltyrann Spanish: Picoplano bigotudo occidental

Platyrhynchus albogularis

P. L. Sclater

, 1860,

Pallatanga, Chimborazo, Ecuador


Hitherto considered conspecific with P. mystaceus, but differs in its all-dark vs pale lower mandible (3); whiter throat and whiter belly (1); rising vs faster-paced falling series of notes in song, yielding effect size for first-note frequency 6.29 (3) and for frequency evolution 5.1 (3)#R. Race partridgei somewhat intermediate in plumage and voice (vocally closer to present species, song falling and then rising) between present species and P. mystaceus; differs from P. mystaceus in its mostly dark vs pale lower mandible (2), and song with fewer notes (effect size 3.23, score 2), slower pace (effect size 6.67, score 3) and several other differences. Five subspecies recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. a. neglectus (Todd, 1919) – Costa Rica, Panama, N & C Colombia (R Truandó, Santa Marta region, Boyacá) and NW Venezuela (W Táchira).
  • P. a. albogularis P. L. Sclater, 1860 – W Colombia (Pacific slope of W Andes, Cauca Valley, head of Magdalena Valley) and W Ecuador.
  • P. a. perijanus Phelps, Sr & Phelps, Jr, 1954 – Sierra de Perijá, on Colombia–Venezuela border.
  • P. a. zamorae (Chapman, 1924) – E Ecuador S along Andes to SE Peru (S to W Madre de Dios).
  • P. a. partridgei Short, 1969 – extreme SE Peru (S Puno) and W & C Bolivia (La Paz, Cochabamba, SW Santa Cruz).
  • Descriptive notes

    9–10 cm; 7·5–12 g. Small, large-headed and stub-tailed spadebill with bold facial pattern. Adult male has dark olive crown with large, partially concealed yellow patch,... read more


    Song (mostly given at dawn and during early morning) a high, thin, rattling trill, “pe’e’e’e’e’e’e’... read more


    Undergrowth of a variety of habitats, including humid lowland and montane forests, dry forest,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Arthropods. Stomach contents in SE Peru included 32 prey items, of which beetles (Coleoptera) 46%, hymenopterans 15% (ants 6%, wasps 9%),... read more


    Season Mar–May in Costa Rica; May–Jul in N Colombia and Dec in E; at Tikal, Guatemala, birds in breeding condition collected Jun and Jul,... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common to fairly common, but perhaps less numerous at higher altitudes in range; often overlooked unless mist-netted. Occurs in many... read more

    Recommended citation

    del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Western White-throated Spadebill (Platyrinchus albogularis). 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 28 February 2020).