The Black-tailed Flycatcher is a relatively distinctive and fairly common flycatcher with a widespread distribution; it occurs from southwest Costa Rica south over the Pacific slope of South America to northwest Peru, and then reappears east of the Andes, being found across Amazonia south of the Amazon and south to southeast Brazil. Up to seven different subspecies are recognized, although not all of them are especially distinctive. Across this broad range, the species inhabits the undergrowth in a variety of different forest habitats, including seasonally flooded areas and gallery woodland. Black-tailed Flycatcher occurs to approximately 1400 m. This species regularly joins mixed-species flocks and occurs alone or in pairs. It constructs a pyriform nest that is bell-shaped, suspended from a branch several meters above the ground.