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Dusky Flycatcher Empidonax oberholseri


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Dusky Flycatcher
credit: Maholyoak/CCSA

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Tyrannidae, Tyrant Flycatchers view all from this family

Description ADULT Has uniformly olive-gray upperparts with pale eyering. Wings are dark with two whitish wing bars and tail is dark. Underparts are pale gray, palest on throat and belly. Postbreeding molt occurs after migration, so fall birds look worn (compared to Hammond's). Winter birds appear faintly washed olive-yellow. JUVENILE Similar, but brighter than fall adult, with buffy wing bars.

Dimensions Length: 5 1/4-6" (13-15 cm)

Habitat Common summer visitor (mainly May-Aug) to mountain coniferous forests, chaparral, and brushy areas. Winters mainly in Mexico; small numbers in southern Arizona.

Observation Tips A challenge to identify with certainty.

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

Voice Song is a series of repeated phrases s'lit-chrrp, s'lit-cheepÖ; call is a soft whit.

Discussion Similar to both Gray and Hammond's. Behavior, bill size and color, and relative wing length are useful pointers: less active than Hammond's, but flicks tail and wings (like that species, but unlike Gray, which pumps tail); bill length is intermediate between Gray and Hammond's, with an orange-pink base to dark-tipped lower mandible; primaries do not extend beyond rump when perched. Sexes are similar.