Strange Tails

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

The growing diversity of the animals of Reserva Don Luis is a fresh source of delight every time we return.  We don't play favourites, but it's impossible not to engage more with some of our more conspicuous guests.  One of these is the strange-tailed tyrant.  The male is stoic in his tolerance of one of nature's strangest - and it would seem least practical - adaptations.  He's willing to suffer to be beautiful, and somehow manages to fly with tail feathers that were surely designed for a bird three times his size.

We love his perseverance; his resolution to succeed against challenge, and his ability to prove that anything is possible.  He's appearing in growing numbers on the Reserva Do Luis, and his success has become an allegory for, and a symbol of, our own.

When we started the process of updating and redesigning our website, we wanted to adopt an image that symbolised our aims and our challenges.  This brave little flycatcher, with his indomitable character, was the perfect choice.

The logo is a stylised profile of a male tyrant, silhouetted against the sunrise.  We coloured the sun the blue of the Argentinian flag in honour of this country's beauty, its climate and the breathtaking span of magnificent animals that it nurtures.

More about strange-tailed tyrants>>

Platyrrhinus lineatus

Bat Research

Our bat team is conducting bat research both in the Ibera Marshes and in other provinces. We are especially concentrating on Misiones at the moment where we find the largest bat in Argentina, Chrotopterus auriitus and Myotis ruber, two species that we are researching.

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Black and White Monjita (Xolmis Dominicanus)

Black and White Monjita

Xolmis Dominicanus

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The Black and White Monjita has suffered seriously from loss of habitat and is still in decline.  It is classed as Vulnerable in the IUCN redlist and is part of the tyrannidae family.

This 20cm flycatcher appears similar to the more common White Monjita but it has a long totally black tail and much wider black wing remiges.  It has white edges to its primaries which are very conspicuous in flight.  The female is different with a V shaped pattern on her back.  Her crown, nape and upper back are grey.  

There are a few places in the Ibera Marshes where one can encounter this bird - usually on the edges of the marshland in cattle fields.  They are reasonably tame and one can approach to within 15m.

Threats to this species come from the usual habitat loss wihich is associated with routine burning, afforestation, grassland modification and marshland drainage.  It can also suffer from parasitism from Shiny Cowbirds.

We now see this species close to Reserva Don Luis and they appeared to be breeding in 2014.


Black & White Monjita (female)  Monjita Dominica (hembra)


View in taxonomic list