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Eye-ringed Flatbill - BirdForum Opus

With nesting material
Photo © by Jim Lundberg
Coba Mayan Ruins, Yucatan, Mexico
Rhynchocyclus brevirostris


Photo © by Andy Adcock
Selva, Costa Rica, March 2017

Length 15-17 cm (6-6¾ in.)
As indicated by the name, this otherwise rather nondescript flycatcher has a prominent white eye-ring and a wide, flat bill. Greenish-olive overall, with few distinguishing markings on plumage; chest is lightly striped, and belly is light yellow.

Similar species

Olivaceous Flatbill: difficult to distinguish, but that has brighter yellow wing bars, paler yellow underparts and (perhaps) more distinct streaking. The eyering may not distinguish the two as it is prominent in both. The wing fringes are perhaps the best character.


Central and South America:
Central America: found in South Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama
South America: occurs only in extreme north-western Colombia



There are 3 subspecies[1]:

  • R. b. brevirostris - Southern Mexico (eastern Oaxaca and Veracruz) to western Panama
  • R. b. pallidus - Pacific coast of southern Mexico (Guerrero to Oaxaca)
  • R. b. hellmayri - Mountains of eastern Panama (Darién) and extreme north-western Colombia


Lowland and middle elevation damp forest and cloud forests.


Perches upright in midcanopy, often as part of a mixed flock. Not very active.


Their diet consists mostly of arthropods, such as beetles and caterpillars. They also eat berries and arillate seeds.


They construct a bulky pear-shaped nest with a downward facing spout entrance.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2012. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to October 2012. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/downloadable-clements-checklist
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved Apr 2018)
  3. Wikipedia

Recommended Citation

External Links