White-crested Tyrannulet Serpophaga subcristata


The White-crested Tyrranulet is widespread east of the Andes in the southern Cone, found from C Bolivia to E Brazil and south to the northern edge of Patagonia in Argentina. This is a small flycatcher which tends to perch in a rather horizontal manner and often half-cocks its tail as it forages or when excited. It has a grayish crown with a white central crown stripe that is usually relatively easy to see in the field. The grayish face shows a distinct pattern with a dark eyeline and a paler supercilium. Otherwise above it is greenish, and the blackish wings show nicely marked white wing bars and edgings to the tertials and coverts; below the throat and breast are whitish but the belly is strongly suffused with yellow. This species is found in a variety of edge, second growth, and shrubby habitats. It takes well to urban areas and may be found in city parks and in shrubbery in agricultural areas for example. It is found in pairs or sometimes family groups. This species and the White-bellied Tyrannulet need to be looked at more closely to determine their taxonomic status. Some consider the two to be conspecific, while other unpublished reports suggest that the two are narrowly sympatric in central Argentina. The classic contact call of the White-crested Tyrannulet is a jovial sounding “chip-chrr Ritza!” that is distinctive and unique once learned.

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© Emilio Ariel Jordan

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

Recommended Citation

White-crested Tyrannulet (Serpophaga subcristata), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/whctyr1