The Yellow-bellied Elaenia, Elaenia flavogaster, is a small bird of the tyrant flycatcher family. It breeds from southern Mexico and the Yucatán Peninsula through Central and South America as far as northern Argentina, and on Trinidad and Tobago.
Adults are 16.5cm 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.
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.