Rufous mourner

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Rufous mourner
Rufous Mourner - Panama H8O0032.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Tyrannidae
Genus: Rhytipterna
Species: R. holerythra
Binomial name
Rhytipterna holerythra
(Sclater & Salvin, 1860)

The rufous mourner (Rhytipterna holerythra) is a small passerine bird in the tyrant flycatcher family. It breeds from southwestern Mexico to northwestern Ecuador. It was formerly believed to be a cotinga, but well-supported anatomical evidence has shown it to be related to tyrant flycatchers of the genera Myiarchus, Sirystes and Casiornis.[2]

The rufous mourner is 20 cm. long and weighs 40 g. Its plumage is entirely rufous, brighter on the underparts, and with darker brown wings. The base of the bill is pink or horn-coloured. The call is a drawling way teeer and the song is wee hi hi weeur-weeur-weeur.

This bird is found in lowlands and foothills up to 1200 m altitude in wet forests, adjacent old second growth, semi-open areas and shady plantations. The rufous mourner is seen alone, in family groups or as part of a mixed-species feeding flock. It perches on a twig from which it sallies forth to catch large insects and caterpillars and many seeds and fruit.[3] Usually, the food is taken in flight.

It nests in tree cavities, especially old woodpecker holes. It may also nest in holes in earth banks.[2]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Rhytipterna holerythra". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Scholes (2004)
  3. ^ E.g. of gumbo-limbo (Bursera simaruba), and less frequently from Cymbopetalum mayanum (Annonaceae): Foster (2007)


  • Foster, Mercedes S. (2007): The potential of fruiting trees to enhance converted habitats for migrating birds in southern Mexico. Bird Conservation International 17(1): 45-61. doi:10.1017/S0959270906000554PDF fulltext
  • Scholes, E. (2004): Rufous Mourner (Rhytipterna holerythra). Pp. 427 in: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., & Christie, D. A. eds. (2004). Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol. 9. Cotingas to Pipits and Wagtails. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.ISBN 84-87334-69-5
  • Stiles, F. Gary & Skutch, Alexander Frank (1989): A guide to the birds of Costa Rica. Comistock, Ithaca. ISBN 0-8014-9600-4