Fork-tailed Flycatcher Tyrannus savana

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Tyrannidae
  • Polytypic: 4 subspecies
  • Authors: Alex. E. Jahn and D. T. Tuero


Geographic Variation

The nominate subspecies has a darker gray back compared to T. s. monachus and T. s. sanctaemartae, whose lighter gray back contrasts markedly with their black head; the white collar of T. s. monachus is also fuller and more distinct than in the nominate subspecies (Pyle 1997). Notches on primaries are also useful in separating subspecies when birds are in the hand (see Pyle 1997).

Related Species

Tyrannus savana Vieillot, 1808, Surinam, with four subspecies currently recognized: monachus (Hartlaub 1844), sanctaemartae (Zimmer 1937), circumdatus (Zimmer 1937), and savana (Vieillot, 1808; Mobley 2004). Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (Tyrannus forficatus) was considered the closest relative (due to long outer retices shared by Fork-tailed and Scissor-tailed flycatchers), but that has not been supported by recent molecular sequence data (Mobley 2004).

Recommended Citation

Jahn, A. E. and D. T. Tuero (2013). Fork-tailed Flycatcher (Tyrannus savana), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.