Variegated Flycatcher (Empidonomus varius)

Variegated Flycatcher

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Tyrannidae | [latin] Empidonomus varius | [UK] Variegated Flycatcher | [FR] Tyran varie | [DE] Fleckentyrann | [ES] Tuquito Rayado | [NL] Bonte Tiran


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Griseotyrannus varius
Empidonomus varius SA widespread
Empidonomus varius rufinus
Empidonomus varius varius

Physical charateristics

The Variegated Flycatcher is one of 3 widespread flycatchers that are streaked below. The Variegated is larger than the Piratic Flycatcher (Legatus leucophaius), has a longer bill, more rufous on the tail and whiter edging to its wing feathers. On the other hand, it is smaller than the Streaked Flycatcher (Myiodynastes maculatus) with darker upperparts and less well defined streaking below.

Listen to the sound of Variegated Flycatcher

[audio: Flycatcher.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 18 cm size max.: 19 cm
incubation min.: 15 days incubation max.: 16 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 16 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 3  


South America : widespread


Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests, subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, and heavily degraded former forest.


Clutch size is 2 to 3 eggs lid in a cup nest made of twigs, bark, leaf stems, and grass. It is built on a horizontal tree branch 3-8 meter above ground. Incubation ranges from 14 to 16 days and is carried out by the female. Sometimes this species is parasitized by Shiny Cowbirds.

Feeding habits

Hunts mostly for mostly insects, also berries and fruits are eaten. Forages from a low perch, flying out to catch insects in mid-air, and then returning to perch to feed.


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 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.
Variegated Flycatcher status Least Concern


During austral winter (ca. Mar. – Sept.) nominate varius vacates the region from e. Bolivia and s. Brazil southward, at that time occurring north to Trinidad, w. Venezuela, e. Colombia, e. Ecuador, e. Peru, and w. Amaz. Brazil. There are also several remarkable records of overshooting migrants in the e. United States and se. Canada.

Distribution map

Variegated Flycatcher distribution range map

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