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Strange Tails

We're delighted to have a strong population of strange-tailed tyrants at the reserve. So much so that we've adopted these beautiful and endangered birds as the symbol of the Trust

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Strange-Tailed Tyrant

Strange-Tailed Tyrant

Alectrurus risora

The Strange- Tailed Tyrant lives up to its name as it has a tail twice the length of its body and is quite unusual looking. The male has a featherless throat which turns bright red during the breeding season. Sexual dimorphism is apparent with the female coloured in shades of brown and less striking. She also has a long tail but it is a lot less cumbersome.

Female Strange-tailed Tyrant

Alectrurus risora


The Strange tailed Tyrant has a small range and appears to be resident in small pockets. The range is from Southern Paraguay to NE Argentina with the largest population being in the Esteros del Ibera where it can be locally common. There are also a few pockets left in Brazil and Uruguay.

We are delighted that we now have a reasonable sized population of these birds at Reserva Don Luis, and whilst it can be transient, they are breeding here very successfully. Our conditions here are perfect for this species and we manage our land to accommodate them.  After our devastating fire of 2012 they are back in force in 2014.

Their habitat is wet grasslands near marshes and they require tall grass of up to 1.5m for breeding. Their staple diet is invertebrates. Although they can coexist with cattle, problems occur when grass is routinely burnt as a management technique. They are also intolerant of fertilizers and pesticides. They are listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN redlist and appear in appendix 1 of CITES. Threats are habitat loss due to afforestation, rice fields and to a lesser extent, cattle ranching.

They are known as Yetepá de Collar in Argentina.

Juvenile Strange-tailed Tyrant





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