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Tyrannus savana

Fork-tailed Flycatcher

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Tyrannidae
  • Polytypic 4 Subspecies

Authors: Jahn, A.E., and D.T. Tuero

Tyrannus savana

Tiradentes, Minas Gerais, Brazil; 27 December 2009 © Bertrando Campos

Fork-tailed Flycatcher is a distinctive inhabitant of grassland and open terrain from southern Mexico south to Argentina. Fork-tailed Flycatcher is mostly black and gray above with white underparts, and, as the name implies, has an extremely long forked tail. This flycatcher, which is a member of the kingbird genus Tyrannus, often perches prominently on the top of fence posts or shrubs; from such conspicuous perches, the flycatcher sallies after insects or hover-gleans to feed on fruit. The southernmost populations are migratory while populations in southern Mexico are resident. During migration Fork-tailed Flycatchers are very gregarious and may roost in flocks of up to 10,000 individuals. 

Recommended Citation

Jahn, A.E., and D.T. Tuero. 2013. Fork-tailed Flycatcher (Tyrannus savana), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online:

This map is based on maps available from the NatureServe InfoNatura website, for the distribution in Central America and/or Caribbean, and on a map provided by Robert S. Ridgely, for the South American distribution.

The data for the InforNatura maps are provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE.

  • Migration/Movement:Complex Migrant
  • Primary Habitat:Low, seasonally wet grassland
  • Foraging Strata:Aerial
  • Foraging Behavior:Sally
  • Diet:Omnivorous
  • Sociality:Undescribed
  • Mating System:Unknown
  • Nest Form:Cup
  • Clutch: 1 - 5
  • IUCN Status:Least Concern