Cinnamon Becard

The Cinnamon Becards (Pachyramphus cinnamomeus) are small resident (non-migratory) birds that occur from Mexico south to Venezuela in South America.

Distribution / Range

They are found in southeastern Mexico south to northwestern Ecuador and northwestern Venezuela, over a wide range of altitudes – from almost sea level to more than 5,000 ft (1,700 m) above sea level.

They favor disturbed habitats, including open woodland areas, forest edges and clearings, mangroves, and secondary forests.


The adult Cinnamon Becard measures about 5.5 in (14 cm) in length and weighs 0.6 – 0.8 oz (17 – 22 g).

The upper plumage is reddish-brown and the plumage below a paler cinnamon below.

The bill and legs are grey.

Males and females look alike.

Juveniles have a brighter upper plumage and are paler overall.

General Differences:

Northern birds have a pale supercilium (“eyebrow”) and dusky line from the bill to the eyes.

The subspecies Pachyramphus cinnamomeus magdalenae that occurs west of the Andes has a stronger supercilium (“eyebrow”) and blackish loral line (= loral area is the area between beak and eyes).

Cinnamon Becard
Cinnamon Becard

Calls / Vocalization

The calls / songs are described as:

  • high thin whistles;
  • the male’s song as a plaintive ascending dee dee dee dee dee dee de;
  • the female’s as a weaker deeeu dew dew, dew dew.

Diet / Feeding

Cinnamon Becards mostly feed on large insects and spiders picked off the foliage in flight. They will also hover to take small berries.

Nesting / Feeding

Nesting typically takes place in March through July.

The female alone builds the nest at the tip of a high tree branch about 8-50 ft (2.5-15 m) up. The nest is a spherical structure of plant material with a low entrance. The nest is often near a wasp nest, which offers some protection to the nest and nestlings.

A clutch mostly consists of 3 – 4 olive brown-blotched brownish white eggs. The eggs are incubated by the female alone for about 18-20 days. The male helps in raising the young.

Photo of author

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