Black-crowned Tityra

Black-crowned Tityra (Tityra inquisitor): Titira coroninegra; Schwarzschnabeltityra; Tityre à tête noire

The Black-crowned Tityra is one of two of the Tityridae family found in Costa Rica. It ranges widely from southern Mexico south to Paraguay. In our immediate area, here on the Turrialba Volcano slope, it is seen rather infrequently. The male bird below was a rather rare sighting at Santa Rosa in March of this year:

Mostly white plumage makes identification of the Black-crowned Tityra rather easy; photo by John Beer

This tityra is seen much less frequently than the fairly similar Masked Tityra (Tityra semifasciata), mentioned in several earlier posts of mine. Both are chiefly fruit-eaters and are sometimes found in close proximity to each other, though the Black-crowned seems to favour lower elevations. An immature bird at Peralta, on the banks of the Río Reventazón put on a good show for John in early July:

Immature Black-crowned Tityra at Peralta; photo by John Beer
Front view of immature Black-crowned Tityra; photo by John Beer

Careful! Face colour and limited area of black on the crown of the immature could cause confusion with the much more common female Masked Tityra (Tityra semifasciata):

Female Masked Tityra at Siquirres in the Caribbean; photo by John Beer

Any mostly white passerine in our area is likely to be a tityra. See my earlier posts for the much rarer Snowy Cotinga (Carpodectes nitidus).

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