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Royal Flycatcher - BirdForum Opus

(Redirected from Onychorhynchus swainsoni)
Subspecies mexicanus
Photo by jonlowes
Parque Nacional Carara, Costa Rica
Onychorhynchus coronatus


16cm. Upperparts are brown above, dull yellow underparts, with cinnamon rump and tail, and a small, whitish patch marks the throat. It has a spectacular crest, vivid scarlet in males, yellow in females, and ornately decorated with splashes of black and steel-blue tips, which usually lies flat, protruding from the rear of the head. When fully extended it forms a large and impressive, forward-facing fan.


From Mexico south through Central America to Panama ("Northern" RF), and in South America in several non-overlapping populations: Northern RF in Colombia and western Venezuela, "Pacific" RF in Ecuador and northernmost Peru, Amazonian RF in estern Venezuela, The Guianas and Amazonian Brazil and "Swainson's" RF in south-east Brazil.

Photo by Luiz
Reserva Guainumbi, Brazil


Six subspecies are recognized[1]:

  • O. c. mexicanus
  • O. c. fraterculus
  • O. c. occidentalis
  • O. c. castelnaui
  • O. c. coronatus
  • O. c. swainsoni

These have in the past been viewed as four species: Northern Royal Flycatcher O. mexicanus including fraterculus, Pacific Royal Flycatcher O. occidentalis, Amazonian Royal Flycatcher O. coronatus including castelnaui, and Swainson's (or Atlantic) Royal Flycatcher O. swainsoni. SACC states that a proposal is needed to clarify the status of these four.

Gill and Donsker (2010) recognise the four-way split and further place this genus in family Tityridae.


Subspecies swainsoni
Photo by Luiz
Itatiaia National Park, Brazil

Lower growth forest and woodland borders. It is particularly fond of small streams.


Its diet includes insects, particularly flying insects.'


  1. Clements, JF. 2009. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2009. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. Gill, F and D Donsker (Eds). 2010. IOC World Bird Names (version 2.7). Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/.
  3. SACC baseline read November 2010.

External Links

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