Contopus Cooperi – Olive-Sided Flycatcher

Contopus Cooperi - Olive-Sided Flycatcher migrating around US

The Olive-sided Flycatcher, Contopus cooperi is small to a medium-sized passerine bird that is a member of the Tyrannidae family of flycatchers. It is a migratory species that migrate from South America to North America in the summer to reproduce. It is an extremely agile flier that feeds primarily on flying insects.

Quick Overview: Contopus Cooperi – Olive-Sided Flycatcher
Body size: Around 7.5 in (19 cm) and a weight of 31 g (1.1 oz)
Main colors: Brown, Olive-Gray, White,
Range: Throughout the United States
Migratory Bird: Yes
Best time of the year to see in the U.S.: March, April, May, September, October, November
Conservation Status: Near Threatened

Olive-sided Flycatcher Description

Above, the plumage is a dark brownish olive-gray (darkest on the crown), with white on the throat, center of the breast, and belly, and contrasting olive-gray sides and flanks (often streaked). Dark areas on either side of a white breast and belly are easily identifiable and frequently compared to the appearance of an unbuttoned vest.

Contopus Cooperi - Olive-Sided Flycatcher migrating around US
Contopus Cooperi – Olive-Sided Flycatcher. Photo by: Mike’s Birds


These birds have a length of 7.5 in (19 cm) and a weight of 31 g (1.1 oz). Their wings could range from 13 in (33 cm).


Olive-sided Flycatchers feed mostly through hawking. They hunt and capture flying insects (e.g., bees, wasps, moths, beetles, grasshoppers, etc.).


Olive-sided Flycatchers are most frequently seen around the fringes of coniferous or mixed forests, where they can sit on large trees or snags, across open spaces, or in the burned forests with standing trees and snags.


Olive-sided Flycatchers have the longest migration of any flycatcher species that breed in the United States, with some traveling 7,000 miles between central Alaska and Bolivia.

Contopus Cooperi Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Chelicerata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Tyrannidae
  • Genus: Contopus
  • Species: Contopus cooperi

Best time of the year to see

In the United States, the best time of year to see these birds are during the Spring season (March-May) and during the Autumn season (September – November).

Distribution of the Olive-sided Flycatcher in the USA

Breeds in Alaska,, eastern Canada, northern New England, and the Pacific Northwest, as well as the mountains of California, Arizona, and New Mexico. Spends the coldest months of the year in the tropic.

The Olive-sided Flycatcher can be found in the following states in the United States – Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Contopus Cooperi – Olive-Sided Flycatcher

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 15 MB. You can upload: image. Drop file here

Scroll to top