The nominate subspecies of Crowned Slaty Flycatcher breeds in southern and eastern Bolivia (north to Beni), west central and southern Brazil (southern Mato Grosso, east to west Minas Gerais, south to Mato Grosso do Sul, extreme western Paraná, Santa Catarina and western Rio Grande do Sul), north and central Argentina (south to Mendoza, La Pampa, northern Rio Negro and Buenos Aires), Paraguay (especially west of Río Paraguay) and Uruguay (Traylor 1979, Mobley 2004).
This population migrates north in the austral winter, mainly to western Amazonia, to as far north as eastern Ecuador, southeastern Colombia, southern Venezuela, and northern Brazil (Traylor 1979, Ridgely and Tudor 1994, Hilty 2003). Subspecies pallidiventris is resident, and occurs in east central Brazil, from eastern Pará east to Maranhão and Piauí, south to northern Goiás (Zimmer 1937, Traylor 1979, Mobley 2004). Crowned Slaty Flycatcher primarily occurs in the lowlands; wintering aurantioatrocristatus occur up to ca 1050 m in Venezuela (Hilty 2003), mostly below 1100 m in Ecuador (Ridgely and Greenfield 2001b), up to 1000 m in Peru (Schulenberg et al. 2010). There also are breeding records at up to 2500 m in the intermontane valleys of Bolivia (Chesser 1995; or even to 2800 m? Hennessey et al. 2003).
There are several extralimital records of Crowned Slaty Flycatcher. In Ecuador it has been reported from Vilcabamba, Loja, at 1600 m, a site that is west of the east slope of the Andes. It also has been encountered in Ecuador as high as 2500 m (Ridgley and Greenfield 2001a), and to 3300 m in Bolivia (Chesser 1995). There also is a record from west of the Andes at Calama, Antofagasta, Chile (Jaramillo 2003). Records north of the regular wintering grounds include a specimen taken at Paso Portachuelo, Aragua, Venezuela, in February 1950, and sight records from above Santa Domingo, Mérida, Venezuela (Hilty 2003). Farther north, there are more recent sightings include the first North American record at Cerro Azul, Panama, in December 2007 (Robb et al. 2009) and the first United States record, an adult male collected in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, in June, 2008 (Conover and Myers 2009).