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Shear-tailed Gray Tyrant - BirdForum Opus

Photo by dacol
Agulhas Negras Road, Itatiaia National Park, Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil, November 2013
Muscipipra vetula


22.5 cm.

  • Mostly dull dark grey plumage
  • Dusky face mask
  • Dusky blackish wings and tail
  • Long, slender tail, deeply notched, underside of outer rectrices edged pale whitish
  • White chin and throat
  • Pale grey belly

Sexes similar. Juveniles with crown, back and wings scaled white.


Found in Brazil (south Bahia, central Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo south to Rio Grande do Sul), east Paraguay and northeast Argentina (Misiones, Corrientes).
Rare to uncommon in its range.


This is a monotypic species.


At the edge of humid and montane forest, also secondary woodland. Also in adjacent clearings or natural grassland.
Mainly at 1000 to 2200 m.



Feeds on insects.
Usually in pairs, sometimes in groups of up to six birds. Hunts near the canopy, perching on high exposed branches. Sometimes perches lower or even drops to the ground. Sallies after passing prey with graceful undulating flight, often for long distances.


Breeds in November in Rio Grande do Sul. The nest is a tall open cup, made of twigs and coarse grass. It's placed less than 1 m above the ground in tall, shrubby vegetation. Lays 3 eggs.


Little known, probably a resident species.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9., with updates to August 2014. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill, F and D Donsker (Eds). 2015. IOC World Bird Names (version 5.2). Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/.
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved June 2015)

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