Black-capped Pygmy Tyrant (Myiornis atricapillus)

Black-capped Pygmy Tyrant

Black-capped Pygmy Tyrant (Myiornis atricapillus)

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Tyrannidae | [latin] Myiornis atricapillus | [UK] Black-capped Pygmy Tyrant | [FR] Moucherolle a tete noire | [DE] Schwarzkappen-Zwergtyrann | [ES] Mosqueta Capirotada | [NL] Zwartkapdwergtiran


Monotypic species

Physical charateristics

The Short-tailed Pygmy-Tyrant is truly a pygmy of a bird, with only a handful of the most lilliputian hummingbirds measuring smaller. The average length is 6.9 cm (2.7″ inches) and the weight averages at 4.2 g. While the bill (though slender) is disportionately large for the size of the bird, the tail is practically non-existent. The head is Grey with blackish lores and stand out white “spectacles”. The back is bright olive-green, and the bar-less wings and tail are both black. The underside is yellow-tinged white, with light olive smudges on the chest and flanks, and the innner flight feathers are edged with yellow. The sexes are similar.

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 6 cm size max.: 7 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 0   eggs min.: 0  
      eggs max.: 0  


Latin America : Costa Rica to Northwest Ecuador


This bird is a resident of tall humid forests. It is occasionally found in more open woodland, around treefalls and tall trees in clearings. It is fairly common through most of its range, but is easily overlooked – in part due to its insect or frog-like voice.


The nest, a moss and fiber ball with a side entrance, is large for the size of the bird. It may be found from 1-8 meter (3.3-26.5 feet) up in the tree, and never near the canopy. 2 eggs, white overlaid with brownish or cinnamon spots, are laid. The female incuabtes the eggs, but both parents feed the nestlings.

Feeding habits

The Short-tailed Pygmy Tyrant prefers to take prey by hover-gleaning from beneath leaves at mid-level in the forest. The flight movements have a mechanical-feel that enhances the insect comparison. The abrupt movements of these dwarves make them hard to follow even if seen. These birds also occasionally flycatch after remaining very quiet.


This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Black-capped Pygmy Tyrant status Least Concern


Sedentary throughout range.

Distribution map

Black-capped Pygmy Tyrant distribution range map

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