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Gray Silky-flycatcher - BirdForum Opus

Photo by blubird
Copola, Mexico, March 2008
Ptiliogonys cinereus

Ptilogonys cinereus


Slender bird with gray head, crest, and upperparts. Prominent white eye-ring and dark gray lories. Throat and chest gray, flanks olive grading to bright yellow on undertail coverts. The tail has a broad white band that is prominent from below when perched. Flight feathers are black.


This is a bird of Mexico and Guatemala. Its range begins in the north in the Sierra Occidental Mountains in southwest Chihuahua and Sonora, as well as the Sierra Oriental Mountains in sourthern Coahuila and Nuevo Leon. The range extends through the those ranges through the mountains of Guatemala, but does not extend into Honduras. Accidental vagrant to southern California and Texas (2 records).


Silky-flycatchers used to be in the Bombycillidae (Waxings and Silky FC), but are now usually considered in their own family, Ptilogonatidae.


There are 4 subspecies[1]:

  • P. c. otofuscus:
  • Sierra Madre Occidental of western Mexico
  • P. c. cinereus:
  • Highlands of central and eastern Mexico
  • P. c. pallescens:
  • Highlands of south-western Mexico (eastern Michoacán and Guerrero)
  • P. c. molybdophanes:


Mid to upper levels of humid to semiarid mixed forests and edges. Travels in pairs or small flocks, (rarely) up to a few hundred birds. Typically found from 1000-3500m. in elevation, lower in winter in the northern climes.


An attractive, alert upright bird at perch.


Feeds on fruit and insects. Nest is a cup of plant materials located in the saddle of a bush or tree. Lays two eggs.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2013. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.8., with updates to August 2013. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved May 2014)

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