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Red-billed Tyrannulet Zimmerius cinereicapilla
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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Based on a model of future deforestation in the Amazon basin it is suspected that the population of this species will decline rapidly over the next three generations, and it has therefore been uplisted to Vulnerable.

Taxonomic source(s)
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

Taxonomic note
Gender agreement of species name follows David and Gosselin (2002a).

Zimmerius cinereicapillus Stotz et al. (1996), Zimmerius cinereicapillus Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993)

10-11 cm. Large-headed green-and-yellow tyrannulet. Dark olive upperparts. Breast is a paler olive colour, fading into yellow on the belly. Grey forehead, crown and lores. Voice An ascending series, beginning with an emphatic note and ending with a wheet-wheet?.

Distribution and population
Zimmerius cinereicapilla has a local distribution in the east Andean foothills (del Hoyo et al. 2004). It is very rare in Ecuador, known only from a single specimen taken in west Napo, a few observations in and around the Archidona Natural Reserve, and one reliable record from the Loja-Zamora road in the south-east (del Hoyo et al. 2004, Restall et al. 2006). In Peru it is more numerous, ranging from Amazonas, San Martín, Junín and Ayacucho south to Cuzco and Madre de Dios. Its distribution reaches La Paz department, north Bolivia, where sound recordings have been taken in Serranía de Establón (del Hoyo et al. 2004).

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but this species is described as 'uncommon and patchily distributed' (Stotz et al. 1996).

Trend justification
This species is suspected to lose 33.7-34.4% of suitable habitat within its distribution over three generations (11 years) based on a model of Amazonian deforestation (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011). It is therefore suspected to decline by ≥30% over three generations.


This is a species of humid montane and foothill forest, from 750-1,350 m. It prefers edges and openings, but also occurs in the interior. It generally remains in the canopy. Insects constitute the bulk of its diet, but it also feeds on fruits including those of the mistletoes (Loranthaceae) (del Hoyo et al. 2004).

The primary threat to this species is accelerating deforestation in the Amazon basin, with much of its range coming under pressure from logging, mining, agriculture and road building (del Hoyo et al. 2004, Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011).

Conservation Actions Underway
None is known.

Conservation Actions Proposed

Expand the protected area network to effectively protect IBAs. Effectively resource and manage existing and new protected areas, utilising emerging opportunities to finance protected area management with the joint aims of reducing carbon emissions and maximizing biodiversity conservation. Conservation on private lands, through expanding market pressures for sound land management and preventing forest clearance on lands unsuitable for agriculture, is also essential (Soares-Filho et al. 2006).

Bird, J. P.; Buchanan, J. M.; Lees, A. C.; Clay, R. P.; Develey, P. F.; Yépez, I.; Butchart, S. H. M. 2011. Integrating spatially explicit habitat projections into extinction risk assessments: a reassessment of Amazonian avifauna incorporating projected deforestation. Diversity and Distributions: doi: 10.1111/j.1472-4642.2011.00843.x.

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Christie, D. 2004. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 9: Cotingas to Pipits and Wagtails. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Restall, R.; Rodner, C.; Lentino, M. 2006. Birds of northern South America: an identification guide. Volume 1: species accounts. Christopher Helm, London.

Soares-Filho, B.S.; Nepstad, D.C.; Curran, L.M.; Cerqueira, G.C.; Garcia, R. A.; Ramos, C. A.; Voll, E.; McDonald, A.; Lefebvre, P.; Schlesinger, P. 2006. Modelling conservation in the Amazon basin. Nature 440(7083): 520-523.

Stotz, D. F.; Fitzpatrick, J. W.; Parker, T. A.; Moskovits, D. K. 1996. Neotropical birds: ecology and conservation. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Khwaja, N., Symes, A.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Taylor, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Zimmerius cinereicapilla. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Tyrannidae (Tyrant-flycatchers)
Species name author (Cabanis, 1873)
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 31,600 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species