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threatened and/or endangered

Alder Flycatcher Empidonax alnorum


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Alder Flycatcher
credit: Cephas/CCSA

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Tyrannidae, Tyrant Flycatchers view all from this family

Description ADULT Has dull olive-green upperparts. Note narrow white eyering and broad-based bill with pinkish orange lower mandible. Wings are dark with pale inner flight feather fringes and two bold white wing bars. Underparts are pale with olive-gray wash on chest. JUVENILE Similar to adult, but with buffy wing bars.

Dimensions Length: 5-6" (13-15 cm)

Habitat Common and widespread summer visitor (mainly Jun-Aug) to damp, deciduous woodland with alders and willows. Winters in South America.

Observation Tips Hard to separate from Willow with certainty, unless song is heard; with practice, call is a good clue too.

Range Florida, Mid-Atlantic, Alaska, Western Canada, Southeast, Texas, New England, Plains, Great Lakes, Eastern Canada

Voice Song is a harsh, repeated rrr'BEE-eh; call is a sharp piip.

Discussion Confusingly similar to Willow, and both species favor damp woodland. Best identified by voice; silent birds are often not separable. See Willow's entry for discussion of subtle structural differences. Engages in aerial sorties from perches near top of tree after flying insects; also hovers and gleans insects from foliage. Sexes are similar.