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Mottle-backed Elaenia - BirdForum Opus

Revision as of 18:48, 3 April 2021 by Deliatodd-18346 (talk | contribs) (First image added. Imp sizes. Links. References updated. Missing Images gone)
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Photo © by Thibaud
Satipo Road, Junín, Peru, 29 November 2020

Alternative name: Giant Elaenia

Elaenia gigas


18 cm (7 in); A large elaenia with a prominent bifurcated crest, giving a "horned" impression.

  • Brown-olive upperparts
  • Faint whitish eyering
  • Large white coronal patch
  • Pale green-olive edgings on back can give a mottled or streaked effect
  • Dusky wings with two whitish wingbars
  • Dusky tail
  • Grey throat
  • Olive breast and flanks
  • Pale yellow belly and undertail-coverts

Sexes similar, females are slightly smaller. Juveniles undescribed.


From southeast Colombia to east Ecuador, east Peru and west Bolivia.
A rare to locally fairly common species, probably extending its range due to deforestation.


This is a monotypic species[1].


Found in moist shrubland in landslides, riparian growth or in man-made clearings in the forest.
Occurs mainly at 250 to 1250 m, sometimes as high as 1800 m.


Usually perches upright on an exposed branch with its crest almost always raised. An active, excited species.


Feeds on insects and small fruits.
Makes short sallies into the air for its prey.


Birds in breeding condition and a nest recorded from October to November. One nest was placed 13 m above the ground in the canopy of a tree, suspended between the branches of a vertical fork. One other nest contained two nestlings.


This is a resident species.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Hosner, P. (2020). Mottle-backed Elaenia (Elaenia gigas), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, J. Sargatal, D. A. Christie, and E. de Juana, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.mobela1.01

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