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

Taxon origin: Endemic


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.


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.


  • Wiedenfeld, D.A. (2006) Aves, the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. Check List 2006 2(2): 1-27.
  • 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.
  • Salvin, O. (1876) On the avifauna of the Galápagos Archipelago. Transactions of the Zoological Society of London 9: 447-510.
  • Sundevall, C.J. (1871) On birds from the Galápagos Islands. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1871: 124-129.
  • 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.
  • Freile, 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.

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