Black-tailed Tityras

The Black-tailed Tityra, Tityra cayana, was formerly placed in the cotinga family, but is now more considered to be a tyrant flycatcher, although Stiles and Skutch separate the tityras as part of a separate family, the Tityridae.

They are usually seen alone or in pairs, perched conspicuously as they forage for food.


Length: 22 cm long; Weight: 60g.

The male is greyish-white above and white below, except for the head, wings and tail, which are black. There is a patch of red bare skin around the eye, and the bill is red-based with a black tip.

The female is similar, but darker grey above, with a brown crown and fine brown streaks on the back and breast.

Black-tailed Tityras

Distribution / Habitat

Their preferred habitat includes forest clearings and edges, second growth and other semi-open habitats, such as plantation shade trees.

Breeding / Nesting

They usually use an old woodpecker nest or the crown of a dead palm tree to make their nest. The female lays her eggs on a bed of dry leaves. The female incubate alone, but both parents feed the chicks, which are thought to fledge after about 3 weeks.


They feed on medium-sized fruits. Some large insects are fed to the chicks.

Call / Song

They have a buzzing weenk or doubled beeza-buzza call.

Photo of author

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