Piura Chat-tyrant Ochthoeca piurae


Justification of Red List category
Although this species may have a restricted range, it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km² combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but this species is described as uncommon, or rare and local.

Trend justification
The population trend has not been estimated directly, but suitable habitat appears to have been lost at historically occupied sites (Baumann 2020). The only direct threat known to the species is the loss and degradation of its habitat. Forest loss within the range has been low over ten years (2%; Global Forest Watch 2020). Given that the species does not depend on forest, but readily tolerates edges and shrubby habitat, the rate of population decline is likely lower than the rate of forest loss. Precautionarily it is suspected that the species is undergoing a very slow population decline, the rate of which does not exceed 10% over ten years.

Distribution and population

Ochthoeca piurae occurs locally in the Andes of Piura south to Lima, north-west Peru. It has been recorded in Palambla (Piura), Porculla (Lambayeque), Samne and Sincicap (La Libertad), Colcabamba, Wiñapatun, Noqno and San Damian (Ancash) and Santa Eulalia valley (Lima) (Fjeldså and Krabbe 1990, Fitzpatrick et al. 2004, I. Franke in litt. 2004, Baumann et al. 2015). However, it is apparently absent from other areas in north-west Peru where appropriate habitat exists, and it has been suggested that the present distribution of the species is limited to relatively good populations in the department of Ancash and southern La Libertad and small populations around Porculla Pass and Amotape, and that the northern populations have nearly disappeared (I. Franke in litt. 2004).


Its ecological requirements are poorly known (Best and Kessler 1995). It inhabits edges of semi-humid forest, montane scrub, shrubby arid hillsides and  riparian thickets at 1,400-2,850 m, occasionally to 3,300 m (Ridgely and Tudor 1994, Parker et al. 1996, Fitzpatrick et al. 2004, Schulenberg et al. 2007). Its diet is unknown, but is presumed to consist of insects (Fitzpatrick et al. 2004).


The species is not as threatened as other forest-dependent species in the region (Stattersfield et al. 1998), but ongoing habitat clearance and degradation of montane scrub and riparian thickets are presumably causing slow population declines.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
There are no protected areas within the small range of this species.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey to determine its current range and population size. Investigate the ecological requirements. Research threats. Protect appropriate habitat. Restore connectivity to facilitate dispersal among populations.


12-12.5cm. Small white-browed chat-tyrant, greyish below and brown above, with bold rufous wing-bars. Sexes alike, juvenile undescribed. Similar spp. White-browed Chat-tyrant O. leucophrys is much larger and has weaker wing-bars, Jelski's Chat-tyrant O. jelskii has yellow rather than white frontal area. Voice Call a thin tchiitt, sometimes extending into soft, descending trill lasting 1-3 seconds tchiitt-chtt-t-t-t-t-t-t-t.


Text account compilers
Hermes, C.

Angulo Pratolongo, F., Franke, I., Isherwood, I., O'Brien, A., Sharpe, C.J., Symes, A. & Temple, H.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Ochthoeca piurae. Downloaded from on 05/12/2023.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 05/12/2023.