Galapagos Species Checklist

Myiarchus magnirostris (Gould, 1839)

Copetón de Galápagos, Papamoscas, Galápagos Flycatcher

Photo: Michael Dvorak, CDF.
Photo: Michael Dvorak, CDF.

Largest flycatcher on the Galápagos, it is still a rather small member of its genus, only about 15-16 cm in length. Grey-brown, breast, grey throat, and male has yellow belly, female beige. May have a crest of feathers on top of the head. Rather thick beak.










Taxon category: Accepted


Least concern


Habitat preferences: Tropical deciduous to wet forests.

Feeding type: Mainly insectivorous, has also been observed feeding on the flesh of fruits (Momordica, Scutia, Tournefortia) and on flowers, thus a potential pollen vector.

Reproductive biology: Territorial. Nests in cavities in trees or cactus. Lays 3-5 eggs. The species is known to nest in artificial cavities such as hollow electric poles or nest boxes.

Distribution origin: A recent genetic study has shown a single colonization event about 850 000 yrs ago from southern central America rather than continental Ecuador.

Distribution classification: Eutropical

Natural enemies: Affected by Philornis.


Distribution map of specimen collection localities or observation records for this species in our collections database.

Distribution: Common on all major islands but Genovesa. It is decreasing but still fairly common except on San Cristóbal where it is already rare.


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  • Jiménez-Uzcátegui, G. Milstead, B., Márquez, C., Zabala, J., Buitrón, P., Llerena, A., et al. (2007) Galapagos vertebrates: endangered status and conservation actions. Galapagos Report 2006–2007. Charles Darwin Foundation, Puerto Ayora, p. 104–110.
  • Harris, M.P. (1973) The Galápagos avifauna. Condor 75(3): 265-278.
  • Snodgrass, R.E. Heller, E. (1904) Birds of the Gálapagos Archipelago. Papers from the Hopkins-Stanford Galapagos Expedition, 1898 - 1899, XVI, birds. Proceedings of the Washington Academy of Sciences 5: 231-372.
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  • Swarth, H.S. (1931) The Avifauna of the Galapagos Islands. Occ. Pap. Calif. Acad. Sci. 18: 1-299.
  • Jiménez-Uzcátegui, G. Betancourt, F. (2008) Avifauna vs automotores. Informe Galápagos 2007-2008. FCD, PNG & INGALA. Puerto Ayora, Ecuador. p. 111–114.
  • Hickin, N. (1979) Animal life of the Galapagos. Ferundune Books, Faringdon, U.K., 236 pp.
  • Bisconti, M. Landini, W., Bianucci, G., Cantalamessa, G., Carnevale, G. Ragaini, L. & Valleri, G. (2001) Biogeographic relationships of the Galapagos terrestrial biota: parsimony analyses of endemicity based on reptiles, land birds and Scalesia land plants. J. Biogeogr. 28: 495-510.
  • Dvorak, M. Fessl, B., Nemeth, E., Kleindorfer, S.M., & Tebbich, S. (2012) Distribution and abundance of Darwin ́s Finches and other land birds on Santa Cruz Island Galapagos: evidence for declining populations. Oryx 46:78-86
  • Dvorak, M. Vargas, H., Fessl, B. & Tebbich, B. (2004) On the verge of extinction: a survey of the mangrove finch Cactospiza heliobates and its habitat on the Galápagos islands. Oryx 38:1-9.
  • Guerrero, A. Tye, A. (2011) Native and introduced birds of Galapagos as dispersers of native and introduced plants. Ornitología Neotropical 22:207-217.
  • Ervin, S. (1992) Nesting behavior of the large-billed flycatcher on Isla Santa Cruz. Noticias de Galapagos 51:17-19.
  • Sari, E. Parker, P. (2012) Understanding the colonization history of the Galapagos flycatcher (Myiarchus magnirostris). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 63:244-254.
  • IUCN (2015) The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. <>. Downloaded on 20 November 2015.
  • Freire, J.F. Santander, T., Jiménez-Uzcátegui, G., Carrasco, L., Cisneros-Heredia, D., Guevara, E., Sánchez-Nivicela, M., Tinoco, B. (2019) Lista Roja de las aves del Ecuador Quito, Ecuador. 97 pp.

The “Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands”, in French “Fondation Charles Darwin pour les îles Galapagos”, Association International sans but lucratif (“AISBL”), has its registered office located at Chaussée de la Hulpe 177 Bte 20 (rez) - 1170, Brussels, and is registered under the trade registry of Brussels under the number 0409.359.103.

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