Yellow-bellied elaenia

Yellow-bellied elaenia
Elaenia flavogaster

Photo by Dario Sanches (Photoree)

Common name:
yellow-bellied elaenia (en); guaracava-de-barriga-amarela (pt); élénie à ventre jaune (fr); fiofío copetón (es); gelbbauch-olivtyrann (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Tyrannidae

This species is found from southern Mexico down to Bolivia, northern Argentina and south-eastern Brazil. West of the Andes it is only found as far south as Ecuador, and this species is mostly absent from the upper Amazon basin.

These birds are 15-16,5 cm long and weigh 20-25 g.

The yellow-bellied elaenia is found in secondary forests, dry savannas, scrublands, riparian woodlands and also in gardens, shade coffee plantations and urban parks. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 2.500 m.

They catch insects by sallying out from a perch, or picking them from the foliage, taking ants, beetles, bugs and termite alates. They will also eat fruits, berries and seeds.

In Brazil, yellow-bellied elaenias breed in July-November, but the breeding season varies between different areas. The nest is a shallow cup made of of moss, fine rootlets, grasses and plant fibres, and lined with feathers. It is placed in a fork in a small branch, up to 18 m above the ground. There the female lays 2 cream-coloured eggs with reddish blotches, which she incubates alone for 16-17 days. The chicks fledge 15-17 days after hatching. Each pair raises 2 broods per year.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and a global population estimated at 5-50 million individuals. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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