Scientific name: Alectrurus tricolor
Spanish name: Tirano cola de abanico, avioncito
Status: Vulnerable (IUCN red list of endangered species)
Habitat and behaviour: Rare to uncommon and local in cerrado and seasonally flooded savannas like the Beni lowlands in Northern Bolivia. In Brazil it remains locally common only in a few scattered protected areas in Goiás, Distrito Federal and Minas Gerais, while in Paraguay it is generally very rare.
Cock-tailed Tyrants perche in tall grass gleaning and sallying for insects which they catch in the air. Although it is generally insectivorous, females have been observed feeding small fruits to fledglings. When breeding, males display fantastic acrobatics in which they launch themselves into the air fast fluttering, wobbling flights with the tail held forward over the back, almost touching the head. After this fantastic flight performance the Cock-tailed Tyrant is locally often called avioncito.
It has become very scarce in north and east Bolivia as it is threatened by habitat loss due to seasonal burning and overgrazing of tall grass areas. The Cock-tailed Tyrant prefers several years old tall grasses, therefore appropriate land management is essential to secure healthy populations of this species.
In 2008, Asociación Armonía, with the support of faithful donors created the Barba Azul Nature Reserve in Beni Province, Bolivia, protecting habitat occupied by endangered savanna habitat species of the Llanos de Moxos.
Sustainable management at Barba Azul Nature Reserve provides a safe haven for the Cock-tailed Tyrant, where this species can be observed all around the year.
By supporting the Armonía´s Barba Azul Nature Reserve you can help to protect a the habitat of the Cock-tailed Tyrant.
You can make a tax deductible online donation through our partners the American Bird Conservancy. (In the comment box, simply write: Barba Azul Nature Reserve.) Thank you for your support.
We thank our international partners and individual donors for the achievements of Barba Azul Nature Reserve program – we cannot save the species or empower our people without your generous support. Thank you.