Bertrando Campos

Sharp-tailed Tyrant (Culicivora caudacuta)

In life this attractive little flycatcher is one that is much sharper looking than the books make it out to be. It is a small (10 cm) and slim flycatcher with a long narrow tail. Sharp-tailed Tyrants have short, relatively thick black bills and a well patterned face with a dark cap, bright white supercilium and blackish mask; the upperparts are striped brown and tawny, and there is a vivid tawny wash to the breast sides, flanks and the sides of the face. This is a flycatcher of conservation concern that is declining at a noticeable rate. It is found in tall dry native grassland, campo cerrado habitat. This habitat is quickly disappearing due to conversion into soybean fields, ranching, or even pine and eucalyptus plantations. The preferred habitat is “old growth” grassland, where Loudetia grasses reach 2m in height, not areas that are burned annually as is often the case in parts of its range.

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