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Version 1.0

This is a historic version of this account.  Current version


Torrent Tyrannulet Serpophaga cinerea

Graham Montgomery
Version: 1.0 — Published September 7, 2012


Distribution in the Americas

Torrent Tyrannulet occurs on both slopes of Costa Rica and of western Panama, from the Cordillera de Tilarán of north central Costa Rica south to Veraguas, Panama (Wetmore 1972, Ridgely and Gwynne 1989, Stiles and Skutch 1989).

Torrent Tyrannulet also is widespread in the mountains of western South American from Venezuela and Colombia south to Bolivia. In Venezuela it is restricted to the Andes, including the Sierra de Perijá, and in Táchira, Méridaa and Trujillo (Hilty 2003). The distribution in Colombia includes the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the Sierra de Perijá, and both slopes of all three cordilleras of the Andes (Hilty and Brown 1986). Distribution in Peru of Torrent Tyrannulet. Solid circles: specimen records; open circles; sight records; dotted line: 1000 m contour (Schulenberg et al. 2006)The distribution continues along the west slope of the Andes throughout western Ecuador to northwestern Peru, with apparently isolated populations farther south in Peru in Ancash and in Lima (Ridgely and Greenfield 2001a, Schulenberg et al. 2010). Along the east slope of the Andes, Torrent Tyrannulet occurs throughout Ecuador and Peru south to Tarija, Bolivia (Ridgely and Greenfield 2001a, Hennessey et al. 2003, Schulenberg et al. 2010).

Torrent Tyrannulet is resident throughout its range. The elevational distribution of Torrent Tyrannulet is 250-2000 m in Costa Rica (where the elevational distribution averages higher on the Pacific slope than on the Caribbean slope; Stiles and Skutch 1989); 1500-2200 m in Venezuela (Hilty 2003); 100-3200 m in Colombia (Hilty and Brown 1986); primarily 700-3100 m in Ecuador (but locally lower, even to 100 m; Ridgely and Greenfield 2001a); 800-3100 m in Peru (Schulenberg et al. 2010); and 400-2500 m in Bolivia (Hennessey et al. 2003).

Distribution outside the Americas

This species is restricted to the Neotropics.


Torrent Tyrannulet is almost exclusively associated with mountain watercourse habitats and is most common in highland rivers and streams. It has a strong preference for fast flowing water amidst mid-elevation forest. It is occasionally seen in in marshes or flooded forests and along the banks of rivers at lower elevations.

Historical changes

No information.

Fossil history

There is no fossil evidence associated with this species.

Distribution of the Torrent Tyrannulet - Range Map
  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding
Distribution of the Torrent Tyrannulet

Recommended Citation

Montgomery, G. (2012). Torrent Tyrannulet (Serpophaga cinerea), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.tortyr1.01