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Least Flycatcher Empidonax minimus


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Least Flycatcher
credit: Mdf/CCSA

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Tyrannidae, Tyrant Flycatchers view all from this family

Description ADULT Has dull olive-gray upperparts overall. Dark wings have pale fringes to inner flight feathers and two white wing bars; tail is dark. Underparts are whitish, palest on throat and belly, with diffuse gray band on chest and faint yellow wash on lower flanks. JUVENILE Similar, but in fall has buffy wing bars.

Dimensions Length: 5 1/4" (13 cm)

Habitat Common summer visitor (mainly May-Aug) to open deciduous woodlands. Winters in Central America.

Observation Tips Although it can be very difficult, try using body proportions, voice, and habitat preference to aid separation from similar species.

Range Texas, Alaska, Rocky Mountains, Southwest, Western Canada, Florida, California, New England, Northwest, Mid-Atlantic, Plains, Eastern Canada, Southeast, Great Lakes

Voice Song is a repeated ch'Wik, ch'WikÖ; call is a sharp whit.

Discussion Small, short-winged Empidonax flycatcher (collectively, and affectionately, these are known as "empids"). Flycatches actively from low to mid-height perches; also gleans insects from foliage while hovering. Often perches upright and routinely flicks wings and tail in agitated manner. Head is relatively large and large eye is emphasized by whitish eyering. Lower mandible of rather dainty bill is pale orange-buff with a darker tip. Sexes are similar.