Sooty tyrannulet (Serpophaga nigricans)

loading
Sooty tyrannulet
loading
Loading more images and videos...

Sooty tyrannulet fact file

Sooty tyrannulet description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderPasseriformes
FamilyTyrannidae
GenusSerpophaga (1)

First described by Charles Darwin during his voyage on the H.M.S. Beagle (3), the sooty tyrannulet is a small, uniform grey to brownish-grey bird with a contrasting black tail. The underparts are paler grey, while the wings have two indistinct grey bars, and pale edges on the flight feathers. The chin is whitish and the top of the head bears a white patch, which is usually partially concealed (2) (4). The legs and the small beak are black. Male and female sooty tyrannulets are similar in appearance. The song has been described as a few staccato notes followed by higher, sweet, ‘canary-like’ notes (2).

Size
Length: 12 cm (2)
Weight
9 g (2)
Top

Sooty tyrannulet biology

The sooty tyrannulet is an active and restless bird, constantly on the move as it flits from perch to perch, or darts into the air, to the ground or to the water surface to catch insects (2) (4). It may also land on floating vegetation or on rocks or logs in the middle of the water (4). When perched, the tail is regularly pumped up and down, and is often fanned out (2) (3) (4).

The sooty tyrannulet is usually found in pairs (4). Breeding takes places between October and December, with both the male and female helping to build the nest, which is a tightly woven open cup or basket. The nest may be suspended from a branch, twig or root, often under an overhang, and is constructed from roots and grasses, and lined with feathers. Three eggs are usually laid. Nests may occasionally be targeted by the shiny cowbird (Molothrus bonariensis), a brood parasite (2).

Top

Sooty tyrannulet range

The sooty tyrannulet is found in South America, in southern Bolivia, Paraguay, southeast Brazil, Uruguay, and northern and central Argentina, at elevations of up to 1,000 metres. Although usually resident, populations in the extreme south may migrate northwards in winter (2) (4).

Top

Sooty tyrannulet habitat

This species is almost always found near water, occurring in brush, shrubs, and along rocky streams and river margins. It can also be found along irrigation ditches, farm ponds, in agricultural areas and pastures with standing water, and around farmyards (2) (4).

Top

Sooty tyrannulet status

Classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Least Concern

Top

Sooty tyrannulet threats

The sooty tyrannulet is not currently considered at risk of extinction, as it has a large distribution, and a relatively large and stable population (5). Its tolerance of altered habitats also helps to reduce the threats to this species (2).

Top

Sooty tyrannulet conservation

The sooty tyrannulet occurs in a number of national parks and other protected areas throughout its range, including Ybycuí National Park in Paraguay, Aparados da Serra, Iguaçu and Serra da Canastra National Parks in Brazil, and Iguazú National Park and San Juan de Poriahú Private Reserve in Argentina (2). There are no known specific conservation measures in place for this species.

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
Top

Find out more

To find out more about the sooty tyrannulet see:

Top

Authentication

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
arkive@wildscreen.org.uk

Top

Glossary

Brood parasite
An animal that lays its eggs in the nests of members of its own or other species; the host then raises the young as their own.
Flight feathers
The feathers at the end of the wing, involved in flight.
Top

References

  1. IUCN Red List (June, 2009)
    http://www.iucnredlist.org
  2. del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Sargatal, J. (2004) Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 9: Cotingas to Pipits and Wagtails. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
  3. Gould, J. and Darwin, C.R. (1839) Birds Part 3 No. 3 of The Zoology of the Voyage of the H.M.S. Beagle. Smith Elder and Co, London. Available at:
    http://darwin-online.org.uk/
  4. Ridgely, R.S. and Tudor, G. (1994) The Birds of South America: The Suboscine Passerines. Volume II. University of Texas Press, Austin, Texas.
  5. BirdLife International (June, 2009)
    http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/species/index.html?action=SpcHTMDetails.asp&sid=4162&m=0
X
Close

Image credit

Sooty tyrannulet  
Sooty tyrannulet

© Jorge Spinuzza

Jorge Spinuzza
http://www.avespampa.com.ar/

X
Close

Link to this photo

ARKive species - Sooty tyrannulet (Serpophaga nigricans) Embed this ARKive thumbnail link ("portlet") by copying and pasting the code below.

Terms of Use - The displayed portlet may be used as a link from your website to ARKive's online content for private, scientific, conservation or educational purposes only. It may NOT be used within Apps.

Read more about

X
Close

MyARKive

MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.

Play the Team WILD game:

Team WILD, an elite squadron of science superheroes, needs your help! Your mission: protect and conserve the planet’s species and habitats from destruction.

Conservation in Action

Which species are on the road to recovery? Find out now »

Help us share the wonders of the natural world. Donate today!

Blog