Mottle-backed Elaenia (Elaenia gigas)

Order: Passeriformes | Family: Tyrannidae | IUCN Status: Least Concern

Age: Adult | Sex: Unknown | Loc. Satipo Road, Junin

Age: Adult | Sex: Unknown | Loc. Andean Foothills, Bolivia

Age: Adult | Sex: Unknown | Loc. Lower Manu Road, Peru

Age: Adult | Sex: Unknown | Loc. Satipo Road, Junin

Identification & Behavior: ~18 cm (7 in).  The Mottle-backed Elaenia has a back mottled with olive-gray. It has a well-developed white bushy crest with two prominent horn-like gray feathers.  The wing coverts are dusky fringed with whitish giving the appearance of two thin wing bars. The throat is whitish but grades to gray-olive on the breast and yellowish towards the lower belly. The lower mandible is yellow-orange. It forages in semi-open habitats, forest edges, and second growth. It is similar to the Yellow-bellied Elaenia but is distinguished by larger size, by showing a noticeable white bushy crest, and distinctive voices.

Status: The Mottle-backed Elaenia is generally uncommon along the foothill of the Andes and adjacent Amazonian lowlands. It is known to range at elevations of up to 1700 m along the east slope of the Andes. The Mottle-backed Elaenia also occurs in Co, Ec, and Bo.

Name in Spanish: Fío-Fío Moteado.

Sub-species: Mottle-backed Elaenia (Elaenia gigas), P. L. Sclater, 1871.

Meaning of Name: Elaenia: Gr. elaineos= of olive-oil, oleaginous. gigas: L. gigas, gigantis= giant.

See more of the Family Tyrannidae  peru aves

Distribution Map


    • Species range based on: Schulenberg, T. S., D. F. Stotz, and L. Rico. 2006. Distribution maps of the birds of Peru, version 1.0. Environment, Culture & Conservation (ECCo). The Field Museum. on 03/01/2016.