Gray-headed Tody-Flycatcher Todirostrum poliocephalum

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Tyrannidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Michael Patrikeev
  • © Gladstone Pereira Gomes

Gray-headed Tody-Flycatcher is a very small flycatcher with a longish spatulate bill. It is an arboreal species inhabiting shrubby forest edges (e.g., in fragmented landscapes), gardens and parks in lowlands and mid-elevations of southeastern Brazil; mostly within the Atlantic Forest Region, but also marginally in the Cerrado, the Brazilian Savanna. These flycatchers have bright yellow underparts, blackish-brown wings, siskin-green (or olive) upperparts, blackish forehead, slate-grey crown, and bright yellow lores. Gray-headed Tody-Flycatchers normally feed in dense vegetation, relatively low, moving about in foliage and along branches, typically foraging by making short upward strikes to the underside of leaves.

This species is widely known by its alternative English common name, Yellow-lored Tody-Flycatcher, which was used in “The Birds of South America” (Ridgley and Tudor 1994), “Handbook of the Birds of the World” (Fitzpatrick et al. 2004), Xeno-Canto, and other sources. Ridgley and Tudor (1994) justly argued that Gray-headed Tody-Flycatcher is no any more “grey-headed” than Common Tody-Flycatcher, but its distinctive bright yellow lores make the alternative common name more fitting. Brazilian Portuguese name of this species is Teque-teque (Sick 1993). Prince Maximilian zu Wied-Neuwied (Wied 1831), who described Gray-headed Tody-Flycatcher to science, opted for “Grey-headed Flatbill” (Der grauköpfige Plattschanbel).

Scientific name of Gray-headed Tody-Flycatcher, Todirostrum poliocephalum, is made of a generic eponym of Todus (tody, a small Caribbean bird with long, flattened bill) and rostri (Latin for beak), and a specific poliocephalum, probably derived from Greek polia (a precious stone of a whitish gray colour, unknown to us) and kefali (head), i.e., literally "Gray-headed Tody-bill".

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© Morton Isler

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

Recommended Citation

Patrikeev, M. Gray-headed Tody-Flycatcher (Todirostrum poliocephalum), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: