Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

White-tailed Tyrannulet (Mecocerculus poecilocercus)


French: Tyranneau à queue blanche German: Weißschwanz-Tachurityrann Spanish: Piojito coliblanco

Serpophaga pœcilocerca

P. L. Sclater and Salvin

, 1873,

Púellaro, 8000 feet [c. 2440 m], Pichincha, Ecuador


Syringeal characters suggest that present species, M. hellmayri and M. stictopterus may be close to Camptostoma, Inezia and relatives. Monotypic.


Forested Andes from N Colombia S to SE Peru (on W slope to Piura, on E slope to Cuzco).

Descriptive notes

11 cm; 10–11 g. Parulid-like tyrannulet with conspicuous white outer tail feathers. Has thin white supercilium, faint blackish eyestripe, whitish face; medium-grey... read more


A series of 3 or 4 clear, downward-slurred notes in minor key, also a single wheezy note.


Humid montane evergreen forest, especially mossy cloudforest; recorded at 1400–3050 m, mainly... read more

Food and feeding

Insects; occasionally small fruits. Forages in pairs or in groups of up to six individuals; frequently joins mixed-species flocks. Moves... read more


Birds with gonads enlarged in Aug and Sept in Colombia. No other information.



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Uncommon to common. Apparently more common in Ecuador, where present in many protected areas and easily found along Mindo and Chiriboga roads, W of... read more

Recommended citation

Fitzpatrick, J. (2019). White-tailed Tyrannulet (Mecocerculus poecilocercus). 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 6 December 2019).