Yellow-billed Tit-Tyrant Anairetes flavirostris

John W. Fitzpatrick, Andrew J. Spencer, and Kyra Leonardi
Version: 2.0 — Published July 9, 2020


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Tit-tyrants (Anairetes) are small, active tyrant flycatchers with a short, slender bill and a thin, wispy crest. One of the most distinctive features of Yellow-billed Tit-Tyrant is, of course, the color of the bill; most of the bill actually is black, but the base of the mandible is bright orange-yellow. The back and rump are dull brownish olive, streaked with blackish; the wings have two prominent wing bars. The crown and nape are grayish brown with fine streaking. The face and breast are mostly white, but with dark streaking; the streaking on the face is fine, while the streaking on the breast is broader, and extends onto the flanks. The belly is pale lemon yellow.

Similar Species

Most likely to be confused with Tufted Tit-Tyrant (Anairetes parulus). Yellow-billed differs in having a shorter crest which is less wispy than Tufted, having broader streaks on the breast and flanks, and having a dark iris. Tufted Tit-Tyrant also has an unstreaked back, while many subspecies. of Yellow-billed have a faintly streaked back. In addition, the base of the mandible is yellow in Yellow-billed Tit-Tyrant, compared to the solidly dark bill in Tufted (1).


The following description is for nominate flavirostris; see also Systematics: Subspecies.


Duller and more buffy than adult, not as strongly streaked, and with shorter crest.


Forecrown feathers black and greatly elongated into thin, bifurcated crest overlying large, pure white crown patch. Forecrown and face dusky gray, faintly streaked with white. Narrow white supercilium. Upperparts medium gray-brown, faintly streaked blackish. Wings blackish, wing-coverts broadly tipped cinnamon-buff (forming two conspicuous wingbars), secondaries broadly edged cinnamon-buff except at base, innermost remiges broadly edged and tipped buffy white. Tail dusky brownish, outer web of outermost feather pair and tips of remaining pairs paler. Sides of head, throat, and breast white, boldly streaked with black, streaks becoming broader on lower breast and upper belly; flanks, lower belly and undertail coverts unstreaked yellowish. Sexes similar.



Bare Parts


Black maxilla; mandible with a yellow base (one half to two-thirds), and black at the tip. Mouth-lining orange.

Iris and Facial Skin

Iris is dark brown.

Tarsi and Toes

Slate-gray to black.


Linear Measurements

Total length: 10 cm (2), 10-12 cm (1).


6-7 g.

Recommended Citation

Fitzpatrick, J. W., A. J. Spencer, and K. Leonardi (2020). Yellow-billed Tit-Tyrant (Anairetes flavirostris), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (S. M. Billerman, B. K. Keeney, and T. S. Schulenberg, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.ybttyr1.02