Notice for readers: On March 31, Neotropical Birds will be integrated into the new Birds of the World, a powerful research database offering species accounts for every species on earth. Learn more at While Birds of the World is a subscription service, we remain committed to offering this content to Neotropical Birds contributors and to those unable to pay for it through our scholarship program. Stay tuned.

Brownish Twistwing Cnipodectes subbrunneus

  • © Nick Athanas

Until the recent discovery of the Rufous Twistwing (Cnipodectes superrufus), the Brownish Twistwing, itself a relatively infrequently seen bird, was the sole member of the genus Cnipodectes. This species is a principally brown flycatcher, with a slight buff loral spot, and rufous fringes to the wing feathers, a rufous tail, and rather paler ventral underparts. It is perhaps unlikely to be confused with another tyrant flycatcher, but could be mistaken for a Thrush-like Schiffornis (Schiffornis turdina), which is found across much of the same range, but lacks the rufous feather edgings to the wings. The flycatcher is primarily distributed across western Amazonia, but also ranges locally north to easternmost Panama. The Brownish Twistwing is so-named for its modified outer primaries, which possess thickened and twisted shafts.

Help complete this species

There are many ways to contribute—we need species information, photographs, audio, video, translations, maps, distribution data, and bird sightings. There's a role for everyone!

Learn more


© Curtis Marantz

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Brownish Twistwing (Cnipodectes subbrunneus), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: