Pileated Flycatcher Xenotriccus mexicanus


Justification of Red List Category
This species is estimated to have a larger range than previously thought. It is listed as being of Least Concern on the basis that it does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under any of the Red List criteria.

Population justification
Partners in Flight estimated the population to number fewer than 50,000 individuals (A. Panjabi in litt. 2008), thus it is placed in the band for 20,000-49,999 mature individuals.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in slow to moderate decline owing to on-going habitat destruction and degradation.

Distribution and population

Xenotriccus mexicanus is found in the interior of south-western Mexico from central Michoacán and Morelos to Oaxaca (Howell and Webb 1995). Reports from Laguna del Tigre National Park and southern Petén, Guatemala, are thought to be erroneous (Eisermann and Avendaño 2007). It is common at Monte Albán, Oaxaca, in summer, but rare or absent in winter when birds may migrate into the Balsas drainage (Howell and Webb 1995). It is also reported to be common during summer in scrub and oak woodland around Oaxaca city and in Tehuacan Cuicatlan Biosphere Reserve, ranging north of Cuernavaca (M. Grosselet in litt. 2010). 


This species is fairly common at 900-2,000 m in arid montane scrub, oak woodland and scrub (M. Grosselet in litt. 2010), and particularly mesquite in arid scrub (Howell and Webb 1995, Stattersfield et al. 1998). It feeds on insects, foraging from a low branch and sallying out to capture prey from the air or foliage (del Hoyo et al. 2004). Its nest, in which it lays two or three eggs, is made of grasses and other plant fibres, and is bound to a fork in a low thorny thicket using spider silk (del Hoyo et al. 2004).


Much suitable habitat has been affected by agricultural expansion, including conversion to coffee and citrus plantations and cattle-ranching (Dinerstein et al. 1995).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
There are very few protected areas within the species's restricted range to mitigate threats to its habitat (Stattersfield et al. 1998), but it is common in Tehuacan Cuicatlan Biosphere Reserve (M. Grosselet in litt. 2010).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys to assess the total population size. Assess the species's potential occurrence in Guatemala. Carry out regular surveys to monitor population trends. Monitor rates of habitat loss and degradation across its range. Increase the area of suitable habitat with protected status.


Text account compilers
Capper, D., O'Brien, A. & Taylor, J.

Eisermann, K., Grosselet, M., Panjabi, A. & Vidal, R.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2018) Species factsheet: Xenotriccus mexicanus. Downloaded from on 19/11/2018. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2018) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 19/11/2018.