Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

White-winged Black-tyrant (Knipolegus aterrimus)


French: Ada à ailes blanches German: Weißspiegel-Dunkeltyrann Spanish: Viudita aliblanca

Cnipolegus [sic] aterrimus


, 1853,

Cochabamba, Bolivia


Commonly considered to include K. franciscanus, but molecular evidence#R places latter in a different clade; hitherto treated as conspecific with K. heterogyna (which see). Song of race anthracinus moderately distinctive; also, there appears to be a notable division in song between N (Bolivia and extreme N Argentina) and S (rest of Argentina) populations of nominate, suggesting a possible cryptic taxon#R. Author of anthracinus previously listed as “Heine”, but is “Cabanis, in Heine”. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • K. a. anthracinus Cabanis#R, 1860 – #R#RS Peru (Junín, Ayacucho, Apurímac, Cuzco, N Puno) and NW Bolivia (La Paz).
  • K. a. aterrimus Kaup, 1853 – S Bolivia (Cochabamba and Santa Cruz S to Potosí and Tarija) and W Argentina (S to Chubut); also Paraguay and NE Argentina in non-breeding season.
  • Descriptive notes

    16–18 cm; 14·8–24·5 g. Male nominate race shiny black overall, with large white band across inner webs of primaries (usually hidden at rest,... read more


    Typically silent. A female-plumaged bird uttered “trrie rrhi rrhi, trrie rrhie rrhie, trrhie... read more


    Light scrub, woodland, and forest borders, mostly in arid and semi-arid regions. Race ... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects. Generally solitary, though usually not shy. Usually perches with erect posture in the open, occasionally inside canopy; flicks... read more


    Season Oct–Feb; eggs in Oct–Nov and fledgling in Nov in Bolivia; display observed in Dec–Feb. Male displays with short... read more


    S race (nominate) moves N in Mar–Apr, returns in Nov; recorded during austral winter in... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Fairly common to common; abundant in NW Argentina, where known from several conservation units. Found typically in inhabited areas in... read more

    Recommended citation

    Farnsworth, A., Langham, G. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). White-winged Black-tyrant (Knipolegus aterrimus). 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).