Distribution in the Americas
Cinnamon-breasted Tody-Tyrant is resident in a very small area on the east slope of the Andes in southeastern Ecuador and in northern Peru. It is known from only two sites in Ecuador: Naytza, 1600 m at the confluence of the Namangoza and Zamora rivers, Morona-Santiago (Ágreda et al. 2005); and at Chinapinza, 1700 m, on the west slope of the Cordillera del Condor, Zamora-Chinchipe (Krabbe and Sornoza 1994, Ridgely and Greenfield 2001a). There are only three known sites in Peru: the southern Cordillera del Condor, 2200 m, above San José de Lourdes, Cajamarca (Fitzpatrick and O'Neill 1979; type locality); east of La Peca in the northern Cordillera Colán, 1800-2000 m, Amazonas (Fitzpatrick and O'Neill 1979, Collar et al. 1992); and the east side of Abra Patricia, San Martín (Collar et al. 1992, Hornbuckle 1999). The northern and southernmost localities for the tody-tyrant are separated by only ca 300 km. The distribution may be patchy, even within this small area; Cinnamon-breasted Tody-Tyrant has not encountered in the southern Cordillera Colán (Davies et al. 1997).
At most sites, Cinnamon-breasted Tody-Tyrant occupies stunted humid montane forest; these forests are patchily distributed on sites with nutrient-poor sandy soils, typically on outlying ridges. The soil under these forests varies from site to site, for example, it is a white quartz sand in the Cordillera del Condor (Fitzpatrick et al. 1977), but is composed of reddish brown clay, gravel, and sand at Chinapintza (Krabbe and Sornoza 1994). At the type locality, the habitat was characterized as having a "sparse canopy ... composed of stunted trees of uneven height (6-9, rarely 12 m) and diameter (mostly 8-12 cm, not exceeding 20 cm). The more xeric facies of the ridgetop vegetation is dominated by a tree species that forms nearly monotypic stands. Ericaceous plants feature the heavy understory, which also contains a number of typical elements of the Andean flora: Weinmania, Miconia, Ilex, Hedyosmum, Podocarpus, etc. Cyclanthaceae, Araceae, orchids and terrestrial Bromeliacea predominate in the lowest stratum, while the ground itself is carpeted with a thick layer of peat capped with mosses and pale billowy lichens. Tea-colored blackwater streams emerge from the lower slopes of the ridges to form extensive sphagnum bogs in the valleys" (Fitzpatrick et al. 1977). Habitat at Naytza, Ecuador, was described as "typically stunted, 3-5 m high, and has a dense, shrubby understorey. Forest canopy is sparse and uneven, but reaches 15 m ... the most common shrubs belong to Ericaceae, Clusiaeceae, Melastomataceae, Asteraceae, and Lecythidaceae" (Ágreda et al. 2005).