Strange-tailed Tyrant Alectrurus risora


The tail of the Strange-tailed Tyrant is strange indeed, at least in the male. The outer pair of rectrices are greatly elongated (they are longer than the bird's body); the bases of the outer pair of rectrices are bare, but the outer two-thirds of the feather are very broad, forming a long streamer. The plumage is black and white, but the breeding male has exposed pinkish or orangey skin on the throat. The behavior of the Strange-tailed Tyrant is no less unusual. This species is polygynous, as males maintain territories where up to four females breed. Currently the Strange-tailed Tyrant largely is restricted to southern Paraguay, northeastern Argentina, and western Uruguay, where it occupies tall grasslands, but the distribution formerly extended much farther north and east. In view of this range contraction, primarily due to habitat loss, the Red List conservation status of the Strange-tailed Tyrant is rated as Vulnerable.

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© Peter Hosner

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

Recommended Citation

Strange-tailed Tyrant (Alectrurus risora), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: