Crowned Slaty Flycatcher Empidonomus aurantioatrocristatus

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Tyrannidae
  • Polytypic: 2 subspecies
  • Authors: Roger Robb

Crowned Slaty Flycatcher was formerly given its own genus, Griseotyrannus, at which point it was considered the longest scientific name of any bird, a dubious distinction. A close relationship to Variegated Flycatcher (Empidonomus varius) is clear, however, both in its weak vocalization and the juvenile plumage of the Crowned Slaty, which looks a tad more like a Variegated than does the adult Crowned Slaty. This flycatcher breeds in open woodlands, as far south as central Argentina, and it is abundant in parts of the Monte Desert and Chaco, often being one of the most common birds there. Its breeding range extends north through the arid belt through central Brazil. This flycatcher is highly migratory and the bulk of the population winters in the Amazon Basin. Peculiarly, in winter it can be found on the crowns of emergent trees, and other tree-tops of lowland forest. Structurally these tree-tops sticking out beyond the canopy are in some ways structurally similar to the isolated trees and shrubby forests it takes during breeding. In a sense the requirement is a tree to perch in, and plenty of open space to sally to for insects. As records begin to accumulate it is clear that this migrant is prone to vagrancy, a subject that is yet not well known in South America. There are records of overshoots in Venezuela and Louisiana in the United States, as well as a record from northern Chile. Wrong way disorientation (180º disorientation) may also be occurring based on a recent record from Panama.


© Natxo Areta

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

Recommended Citation

Robb, R. (2013). Crowned Slaty Flycatcher (Empidonomus aurantioatrocristatus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.