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Arundinicola leucocephala

White-headed Marsh Tyrant

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Tyrannidae
  • Monotypic


Arundinicola leucocephala

Antioquia, Colombia; 6 December 2008 © Juan D. Ramirez Rpo

The White-headed Marsh-Tyrant is a widespread species in tropical South America though absent from much of Amazonia. Sexually dimorphic, the male’s plumage consists of a stark white head and black body making it one of the most unique tyrant-flycatchers. The species has a strong ecological preference for slow moving or stagnant marshlands where it perches on reeds or small shrubs and sallies for flying insects. Its nest is a large, messy, globular construction of grass and feathers with a side entrance. Conspicuous and distinctive, the male White-headed Marsh-Tyrant is not likely to be missed or mis-identified in appropriate habitat, although the female should be compared with species of the genus Fluvicola.

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Recommended Citation

. 2010. White-headed Marsh Tyrant (Arundinicola leucocephala), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online:

This map provided by Robert S. Ridgely.

  • Migration/Movement:Resident (nonmigratory)
  • Primary Habitat:Freshwater marshes
  • Foraging Strata:Aerial
  • Foraging Behavior:Sally
  • Diet:Terrestrial invertebrates
  • Sociality:Solitary/Pairs
  • Mating System:Monogamy
  • Nest Form:Spherical
  • Clutch: 2 - 4
  • IUCN Status: