Scale-crested Pygmy-tyrant

By Eleanor Warren-Thomas


Photo by Rhettt A. Butler



Scale-crested Pygmy-tyrant

Scientific Name: Lophotriccus pileatus

The scale-crested pygmy tyrant is a tropical forest bird. It likes to live in subtropical and tropical forests, both in the lowlands and in mountain areas. It also lives happily in forests where people have cut down a lot of the trees. It lives in lots of places across south and central America, including Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, Venezuela, and also possibly Honduras. You can see a map of where it lives at http://maps.iucnredlist.org/map.html?id=106004213

Now, you might already be familiar with this little guy, as he pops up a lot around mongabay.com. That's because the scale crested pygmy tyrant is mongabay.com's mascot! You'll probably agree that it's a really lovely looking bird, but it's very tiny and hard to spot in the wild. This little bird only eats insects, and has a sharp beak to catch them. It lives in the darker, lower levels of the forest, and flies from branch to branch all day, searching for food. If you were in a forest looking for one, it would be very hard to see, but you would probably be able to hear its call as it flew through the trees.

The scale-crested tyrant is listed as "Least Concern" on the IUCN Red List, which is a scorecard of the extent to which animals and plants are endangered. This means that scientists aren't too worried about this bird, and it seems to be doing well. But, we must make sure this doesn't change in the future.

The bird in the picture above is being studied by scientists. They have put a small ring around its leg, so that if they catch it again, they know exactly which bird it is.

The scale-crested pygmy tyrant gets its name from the lovely feathers on top of its head. In the picture above, the feathers are lifted up into a crest - it looks a bit like a headdress or a crown! It can also fold the feathers down when it doesn't need to show them off. The lovely head feathers (that look a bit like scales) might be used when the birds are trying to attract mates, or when they're frightened to make themselves look bigger.

Not much is known about how this lovely little bird lives, where it nests, or how many eggs it has. Perhaps, you could go and research it someday...


Pictures of the scale-crested pygmy tyrant


Scale-crested Pygmy-tyrant (Lophotriccus pileatus)

(Costa Rica)


Scale-crested Pygmy-tyrant (Lophotriccus pileatus)

(Costa Rica)


Scale-crested Pygmy-tyrant (Lophotriccus pileatus)

(Costa Rica)


Scale-crested Pygmy-tyrant (Lophotriccus pileatus)

(Costa Rica)


Scale-crested Pygmy-tyrant (Lophotriccus pileatus)

(Costa Rica)


Scale-crested Pygmy-tyrant (Lophotriccus pileatus)

(Costa Rica)

Scale-crested Pygmy-tyrant
Scale-crested Pygmy-tyrant

(Costa Rica)

Scale-crested Pygmy-tyrant
Scale-crested Pygmy-tyrant

(Costa Rica)


Scale-crested Pygmy-tyrant (Lophotriccus pileatus)

(Costa Rica)



Animal profiles

Birds
Bare-Faced Ibis
Blue and Gold Macaw
Common Potoo
Green Honeycreeper
Grey Winged Trumpeter
Harpy Eagle
Hoatzin
Horned Screamer
Jabiru Stork
Malachite Kingfisher
Mealy Parrot
Northern Cassowary
Savanna hawk
Scale-crested pygmy-tyrant
Rhinoceros Hornbill
Scarlet Ibis
Wattled Jacana

Mammals
Asian black bear
Black-and-white ruffed lemur
Black-faced spider monkey
Bornean Rhino
Brown capuchin monkey
Capybara [2nd profile]
Coquerel's Sifaka
Crowned Lemur
Eastern Long Beaked Echidna
Howler Monkey
Kinkajou
Malagasy Giant Jumping Rat
Malayan Tapir
Margay
Mountain Gorilla
Plains Zebra not a rainforest species
Puma
South American tapir
South American coatimundi
Spectral Tarsier
Spider Monkey
Squirrel Monkeys
White-lipped peccary
Woolly Monkey


Reptiles
Green Basilisk
Leatherback Sea Turtle not a rainforest species
Pygmy stump-tailed chameleon
Spectacled Caiman


Amphibians
Giant Chinese Salamander
Gladiator Tree Frog
Green Poison Arrow Frog
Indian Purple Frog
Monkey Frog
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