Plain-crested Elaenia (Elaenia cristata)

Plain-crested Elaenia

Plain-crested Elaenia (Elaenia cristata)

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Tyrannidae | [latin] Elaenia cristata | [UK] Plain-crested Elaenia | [FR] elaene huppe | [DE] Kappenelaenie | [ES] Fiofio Crestado | [NL] Kap-elenia


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Elaenia cristata SA ne. e
Elaenia cristata alticola
Elaenia cristata cristata

Physical charateristics

It is recognized by its generally raised crown without any white, the olive-green tinge to the back, the narrow pale eye-ring, the two white wing-bars and the white edging to the wing feathers. The throat is whitish becoming grey on the breast and pale yellow on the belly.

Listen to the sound of Plain-crested Elaenia

[audio: Elaenia.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 14 cm size max.: 15 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 1  
      eggs max.: 3  


South America : ne. East


Its natural habitats are dry savanna, subtropical or tropical dry shrubland, and subtropical or tropical seasonally wet or flooded lowland grassland. It inhabits savannah with scattered bushes and cerrado and is the only elaenia that is so tied to savannah vegetation.


Nest is a woven cup of fine material, line with wool. Clutch size is 2 eggs, no further data.

Feeding habits

Fruits and insects, talen by perch gleaning and short saliies. Often seen in loosely associated pairs.


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). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to 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.
Plain-crested Elaenia status Least Concern


Mainly resident, but in some areas (Peru and South Brasil) fluctuating numbers might indicate migration pattern.

Distribution map

Plain-crested Elaenia distribution range map

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