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Cordilleran Flycatcher Empidonax occidentalis


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Cordilleran Flycatcher
credit: Jerry Friedman/CCSA

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Tyrannidae, Tyrant Flycatchers view all from this family

Description ADULT Has subtly browner upperparts and marginally longer bill than Pacific-slope. Wings are dark with pale fringes to inner flight feathers and two buffy white wing bars; white elements on wing become less apparent through wear as summer progresses. Tail is dark and subtly longer than Pacific-slope's. Underparts are pale, with olive or brownish wash on breast. JUVENILE Similar, but wing feather fringes and wing bars are buffy brown.

Dimensions Length: 5 1/2-6" (14-15 cm)

Habitat Common summer visitor (mainly May-Aug) to coniferous forests in Rocky Mountains. Winters in Mexico.

Observation Tips Learn the call as an aid to identification.

Range Rocky Mountains, Northwest, California, Western Canada, Southwest, Texas, Plains

Voice Song typically comprises a thin see, a chirping see-oo and a thin, sharp pik; call is a thin, whistling tsee-seet, often almost disyllabic.

Discussion Almost identical to Pacific-slope. Silent birds, outside breeding range, can be impossible to identify with certainty. Breeding range is a good pointer and call, once learned, is reasonably diagnostic. Behavior is similar to that of Pacific-slope. Sexes are similar.