Fork-tailed Tody-tyrant Hemitriccus furcatus


Justification of Red List Category
This species has a small and severely fragmented population and range, which are declining rapidly as a result of ongoing habitat loss. It consequently qualifies as Vulnerable.

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 2,500-9,999 mature individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 3,750-14,999 individuals, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.

Trend justification
This species is suspected to be declining rapidly, in line with rates of habitat loss within its range.

Distribution and population

Hemitriccus furcatus occurs in south-east Brazil in Bahia, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. The Bahia population was only discovered in 1993 (Gonzaga et al. 1995), extending its known range northwards by c.1,000 km. Several new localities have recently been discovered, with one in the Serra do Mar south of Ubatuba extending its known range southwards (F. Olmos in litt. 2003). The occurrence of the species south of Ubatuba at the Boracéia Biological Station (Wege and Long 1995) has not been confirmed, although there is good and extensive habitat in the entire Serra do Mar.


It is found in the undergrowth of humid forest borders and second growth, especially where there are dense thickets of bamboo (particularly large-leaved species) and vine-tangles. It persists in degraded forest, and often occurs in fairly open places with only scattered trees that barely form a continuous canopy. Territories appear to be small (c.100 m2). Birds forage singly in the lower and middle storeys, and rarely join mixed-species flocks. Insects, including small caterpillars and katydids, are gleaned primarily from bamboo leaves during short sallying flights. The only breeding data concerns a recently fledged juvenile following a pair at Itatiaia National Park, Rio de Janeiro in September, and at Boa Nova, Bahia, in November, both at c. 900 m (G. M. Kirwan in litt. 1999; Kirwan 2009).


Although some deforestation may lead to a short-term increase in areas with bamboo, forest clearance has been so extensive throughout its range that it is likely to have greatly reduced numbers. Smallholder farms are rapidly encroaching on the remaining forest at Boa Nova, Bahia (A. Whittaker in litt. 1999).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
This species is considered Vulnerable at the national level (MMA 2014) and protected by Brazilian law. It occurs in seven protected areas: Desengano State Park, Itatiaia National Park (J. F. Pacheco in litt. 2003), Ubatuba Experimental Station, Serra do Mar State Park, Cairuçu Environmental Protected Area (Buzzetti 2000), Desengano State Park, and Serra Bonita Private Reserve (B. Whitney & J. F. Pacheco in litt. 2003).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey suitable habitat, particularly between the two disjunct populations, to clarify distribution and status. Investigate ecological requirements, especially the purported link to large-leaved bamboo. Consolidate key protected areas, such as Serra do Mar State Park. Investigate the feasibility of protecting remaining forest at Boa Nova. Survey historical localities such as Matodentro, São Paulo and the portion of Serra do Mar State Park south of Ubatuba that have significant forest remnants.


11 cm. Small, distinctively patterned flycatcher. Pale olive upperparts. Pale cinnamon-brown head and throat, buffier in ocular area. Duskier wings with chestnut edging in inner flight feathers. Creamy edging to tertials. Pale greyish breast washed white. Rest of underparts whiter. Long and forked olivaceous tail with black subterminal band and white tips. Voice High-pitched, fast and metallic ptí-ptí prrrít or chuí ki-rí-kik.


Text account compilers
Clay, R., Harding, M., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A., Williams, R.

Whitney, B., Olmos, F., Pacheco, J., Whittaker, A., De Luca, A., Kirwan, G.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Hemitriccus furcatus. Downloaded from on 06/06/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 06/06/2023.