Enthralling Designs and Sharp Eyebrows: Cracking the Mysteries of the Incredible Flying Humbug (Video)

A highly distinctive bird with a solid black face and black and white streaking and a prominent spikey crest!

Meet the Black-crested Tit-Tyrant


The black-crested tit-tyrant or Marañón tit-tyrant (Anairetes nigrocristatus) is a species of bird with black upperparts and narrow white bands below. There are also two white wingbars, formed by the broad white tips of the wing-coverts. The tail is black with white tips, and feathers also bordered in white on the outer feathers. Underparts, throat, breast, and flanks are covered in black-and-white bands, while the belly and undertail coverts are a cream to pale yellow. The head is black with a large patch of white on the crown and nape. Sprouting from the base of the bill are elongated crown feathers which form a v-shaped crest. The bill is a bright orange color, the eyes brown, legs, and feet black.


The female has similar plumage, but her crest is shorter and the forehead is a duller black. The remaining black-and-white pattern is more dusky looking. Her bill is usually black with an orange-yellow lower mandible.

The juvenile has a shorter crest and its crown is more dusky than white.


These birds are found in Ecuador and Peru.


The Black-crested Tit-Tyrant likes to live in or around scrubby areas and woodland. It can also be seen in dense scrubby vegetation along streams or bordering ravines.


Screenshot of YouTube/Lost City Birds

The Black-crested Tit-Tyrant is an insectivorous bird, foraging by flying from stem to stem, catching prey from leaves and twigs, and sometimes taking them when on the wing.


The breeding season for the Black-crested Tit-tyrant is between June and July when both parents build the nest and incubated the eggs. The female though is far more active in both these roles. She between 2 to 6 eggs with incubation between 12 to 16 days. Chicks are fed by both parents and become fledged after 12 to 24 days.


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