Tyrant Flycatchers

Bright-rumped Attila


Bright-rumped Attila with lizard in his beak - ready for dinner!

The Bright-rumped Attila or Polymorphic Attila, Attila spadiceus, are endemic to northwestern Mexico ranging to western Ecuador, Bolivia and southeastern Brazil. They are also found on Trinidad – the southernmost island in the Caribbean off the northeastern coast of Venezuela.

They are common from the lowlands to 2100 m altitude in forests, second growth, pasture and plantations with trees and gardens. They are usually seen alone.

They are active, aggressive and noisy birds.



This is a large flycatcher with a big head, hooked and slightly upturned bill and upright stance. They average 18 cm in length and weighs around 40 g.

The head is olive-green streaked with black, the back is chestnut or olive, the rump bright yellow and the tail brown. The wings are dark brown with two pale wing bars and paler feather edging. The whitish or yellow throat and yellow breast are variably streaked darker. The abdomen is white turning yellow near the tail. The irises are red.

Males and females look alike.

Immature birds have a cinnamon-fringed crown and brown eyes.

Similar Species: The streaking below and obvious wingbars help in distinguishing this species from others in the genus.


Nesting / Breeding

The nest is a deep cup of mosses, leaves and plant fibre; it may be built usually below 3m high amongst epiphyte, between buttress roots or in a bank, not necessarily in the forest.

The typical clutch is two lilac- or rufous-marked dull white or pink eggs. Incubation by the female alone. Incubation period is 14-15 days. The young hatch after about 17 days.


Calls / Vocalization

Their calls include a loud beat-it, beat-it and a plaintive ooo weery weery weery weery woo.


Diet / Feeding

They eat insects, spiders frogs and lizards taken from vegetation or the ground. They will pursue the prey on foot as well as attacking in short sallies, and will follow army ant columns. They will also eat berries and seeds.

Species Research by Sibylle Johnson


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