The Yellow-bellied Elaenia, Elaenia flavogaster, is a small bird of the tyrant flycatcher family. It breeds from southern Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula through Central and South America as far as northern Argentina, and on Trinidad and Tobago.
Adults are 16.5 cm long and weigh 24g. They have olive-brown upperparts, a white eye ring, a bushy divided crest and a white crown patch in the parting. The throat is pale and the breast greyish, with pale yellow lower underparts. The call is a nasal breeer, and the song is a wheezing zhu-zhee-zhu-zhee.
4 subspecies are recognized:
Elaenia flavogaster flavogaster
Elaenia flavogaster pallididorsalis
Elaenia flavogaster semipagana
Elaenia flavogaster subpagana
This is a common bird in semi-open woodland, scrub, gardens and cultivation. The Yellow-bellied Elaenia is a noisy and conspicuous bird which feeds on berries and insects. The latter are usually caught from mid-air after the bird sallies from a perch, and sometimes picked up from plants. The species will also join mixed-species feeding flocks on occasion, typically staying quite some distance up in the trees.
It makes a cup nest and lays two cream eggs with reddish blotches at the larger end. The female incubates for 16 days, with about the same period to fledging. Omnivorous mammals as small as the Common Marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) will eagerly plunder Yellow-bellied Elaenia nests in the undergrowth – perhaps more often during the dry season when fruits are scarce – despite the birds' attempts to defend their offspringde Lyra-Neves et al. (2007).
E. flavogaster is a common and wide-ranging bird, not considered threatened by the IUCN.
(2005): Foraging behavior of tyrant flycatchers in Brazil. Revista Brasileira de Zoologia 22(4): 10721077 [English with Portuguese abstract]. PDF fulltext
(2007): Comportamentos interespecificos entre Callithrix jacchus (Linnaeus) e algumas aves de Mata Atlantica, Pernambuco, Brasil [Interspecific behaviour between Callithrix jacchus (Linnaeus) and some birds of the Atlantic forest, Pernanbuco State, Brazil]. Revista Brasileira de Zoologia 24(3): 709716 [Portuguese with English abstract]. PDF fulltext.
(1991): A guide to the birds of Trinidad and Tobago (2nd edition). Comstock Publishing, Ithaca, N.Y.. ISBN 0-8014-9792-2
(2003): Birds of Venezuela. Christopher Helm, London. ISBN 0-7136-6418-5
(1999): A composicao dos bandos mistos de aves na Mata Atlantica da Serra de Paranapiacaba, no sudeste brasileiro [Mixed flocks of birds in Atlantic Rain Forest in Serra de Paranapiacaba, southeastern Brazil]. Revista Brasileira de Biologia 59(1): 75-85 [Portuguese with English abstract]. PDF fulltext
Yellow-bellied Elaenia videos on the Internet Bird Collection
Yellow-bellied Elaenia photo gallery VIREO
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Yellow-bellied Elaenia