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Tyrannidae

Tyrannidae (attilas, elaenias, kingbirds, phoebes, tyrant flycatchers; class Aves, order Passeriformes) A diverse family of small to medium-sized birds which are usually grey, brown, or olivegreen, some being more brightly coloured. The bill is usually fairly broad with a hooked tip and rictal bristles, the wings are short and rounded to long and pointed, and the tail is usually medium-length and square, but can be greatly elongated. Kingbirds (12 species of Tyrannus) are typical. (Phoebes (three species of Say-ornis) have longish tails they constantly flick downwards.) Tyrant flycatchers inhabit forests and open country, and feed on insects and fruit, some eating mice, frogs, and small birds. They nest in trees or on the ground. Some nests are open, others domed or pendant, and some are in tree holes or holes in the ground. The 17 species of Elaenia (elaenias) are typical. The 17 Empidonax species hunt from exposed perches and are recognizable by their voices. The six species of Attila (attilas) were formerly placed in the Cotingidae. There are about 115 genera, with about 380 species, many migratory, found in N., Central, and S. America.

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