Family Tityras and allies (Tityridae)

Least Concern

White-winged Becard (Pachyramphus polychopterus)


French: Bécarde à ailes blanches German: Weißbindenbekarde Spanish: Anambé aliblanco

Platyrhynchos polychopterus


, 1818,

Bahia, Brazil


Races exhibit rather marked variation in plumage (e.g. W Amazonian races tenebrosus and nigriventris much darker than others) and, in some cases, also in voice; more than one species may be involved, but recordings suggest that typical songs are very similar in all taxa (although none found for dorsalis)#R. Eight subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. p. similis Cherrie, 1891 – C Guatemala E to S Belize (Toledo) and N Honduras, S to N Colombia (N Chocó).
  • P. p. cinereiventris P. L. Sclater, 1862 – N Colombia (Chocó except extreme N, E to Santa Marta, S to upper R Sinú and Cesar).
  • P. p. dorsalis P. L. Sclater, 1862 – C & SW Colombia (S Antioquia and Cundinamarca S to SW Nariño) and NW Ecuador (E Esmeraldas, N & W Imbabura, and N Pichincha S to Mindo area).
  • P. p. tristis (Kaup, 1852) – NE Colombia (E of Andes from Norte de Santander S to Boyacá), Venezuela (except Cerro Duida, in S Amazonas), Trinidad and Tobago, the Guianas and NE Brazil (Roraima E to Maranhão and SE Pará).
  • P. p. nigriventris P. L. Sclater, 1857 – E Colombia (E of Andes in W Meta S to Vaupés), S Venezuela (S Amazonas at base of Cerro Duida), W Brazil (both banks of upper Amazon E to R Jamundá and E bank of R Madeira), E Peru (S of R Marañón) and N Bolivia (Beni).
  • P. p. tenebrosus J. T. Zimmer, 1936 – SE Colombia (SE Nariño and W Caquetá E to Amazonas), E Ecuador and NE Peru (N & W Loreto and San Martín).
  • P. p. polychopterus (Vieillot, 1818) – E Brazil (Piauí and Ceará S to Alagoas and Bahia).
  • P. p. spixii (Swainson, 1838) – NW Bolivia (Pando and La Paz E to Santa Cruz and S to Tarija), S & SE Brazil (Mato Grosso E to Espírito Santo, S to Rio Grande do Sul), Paraguay, N Argentina (S to Tucumán, Córdoba and N Buenos Aires) and Uruguay.
  • Descriptive notes

    14–15·5 cm; 19·5–21 g. Male nominate race has crown, nape and upperparts glossy black to almost bluish, back more plain; head side, nuchal collar... read more


    Typical song of both sexes a variable series of 6–9 clear, rich, melancholy, and downslurred... read more


    Inhabits borders of humid to semi-arid light or secondary woodland and lowland forest, relatively... read more

    Food and feeding

    Caterpillars, large insects such as beetles (Coleoptera) or leafhoppers (Homoptera), and spiders; also consumes considerable amounts of... read more


    Apr–Aug in Costa Rica; in Colombia, birds in breeding condition in May–Aug in N and nest-building observed in Mar and mid-Jun... read more


    Resident in much of range. Possibly partially migratory in extreme S. Possibly some local migratory... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Generally considered uncommon to common. Has the largest range of all becards, covering Central America and most of South America; possibly extends... read more

    Recommended citation

    Mobley, J. (2020). White-winged Becard (Pachyramphus polychopterus). 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 25 January 2020).