Northern Beardless Tyrannulet (Camptostoma imberbe)

Northern Beardless Tyrannulet

Northern Beardless Tyrannulet (Camptostoma imberbe)

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Tyrannidae | [latin] Camptostoma imberbe | [UK] Northern Beardless Tyrannulet | [FR] Moucherolle a petit bec | [DE] Chaparra-Fliegenstecher | [ES] Mosquerito Imberbe | [NL] Chaparralvliegenpikker


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Camptostoma imberbe MA widespread
Camptostoma imberbe imberbe
Camptostoma imberbe ridgwayi
Camptostoma imberbe thyellophilum

Physical charateristics

A very small, nondescript flycatcher that may suggest a kinglet, Bell’s Vireo, or immature Verdin. Dull brown wing bars and indistinct eye-ring. Distinguished from “empids” by its smaller size, head, and bill; also by its behavior.

Listen to the sound of Northern Beardless Tyrannulet

[audio: Beardless Tyrannulet.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

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Middle America : widespread


Low woods, mesquites, stream thickets, lower canyons. In United States, often in woods near streams through dry country. Favors stands of mesquite or cottonwood-willow groves in Arizona, native woodland of huisache, ebony, h
ackberry, and mesquite in southern Texas. In tropics, found in a variety of semi-open habitats and dry woods.


Nesting behavior is not well known. Male sings whistled song in spring and summer to defend nesting territory.
Site is in outer branches of tree or large shrub, 4-50′ above the ground, usually 10-30′ up. Often placed where it will be well camouflaged: inside a clump of mistletoe or an old tent caterpillar web, in a tree that has many such c
lumps. Nest is the size and shape of a baseball, with an entrance high on one side; made of grasses and weeds, lined with soft plant down and feathers.
Eggs: 3, sometimes 1-2. White, finely marked with dots of brown and gray, especially around the larger end. Details of incubation poorly known.
Young: Probably fed by both parents. Development of young and age at first flight not well known.

Feeding habits

Mostly insects.
Diet not known in detail. Apparently feeds mostly on very small and slow-moving insects; known items include scale insects, treehoppers, beetle larvae, moth caterpillars, fly pupae, and others. Also reported to eat some seeds and berries.
Behavior: Especially in summer, often forages in typical flycatcher style, flying out from a perch to catch insects in its bill, ta
king them either in the air or from foliage. Often, however, forages more like a vireo, moving slowly and taking insects from surface of twigs or leaves.


This species has an extremely 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 increasing, 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 is extremely large, and hence does not 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.
Northern Beardless Tyrannulet status Least Concern


Resident from southeastern Arizona, southwestern New Mexico, southern Texas to Costa Rica. Migration: Only a s
hort-distance migrant. In Arizona, more common in summer, but small numbers winter regularly at lower elevations. A few present at all seasons in southern Texas, perhaps more numerous in summer.

Distribution map

Northern Beardless Tyrannulet distribution range map

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