Empidonax Flavive – Yellow-Bellied Flycatcher

Empidonax Flavive - Yellow-Bellied Flycatcher found in the US

The yellow-bellied flycatcher, Empidonax flaviventris is a small insectivorous bird belonging to the family of tyrant flycatchers. The song of the yellow-bellied flycatcher is a harsh, falling “tse-berk,” which is comparable to the more common least flycatcher’s snappier, more uniformly pitched “che-bek.”

Quick Overview: Empidonax Flavive – Yellow-Bellied Flycatcher
Body size: Around 5.5 in (14 cm) and a weight of 11 g (0.4oz)
Main colors: Yellow, Olive-Green, White
Range: United States
Migratory Bird: Yes
Best time of the year to see in the U.S.: March, April, May, September, October, November
Conservation Status: Least Concern

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher Description

Olive-green upperparts, yellow underparts, and olive-green wash on the breast of small flycatcher. Spectacles are a light yellow color. Dark wings with two white bands.

Empidonax Flavive - Yellow-Bellied Flycatcher found in the US
Empidonax Flavive – Yellow-Bellied Flycatcher. Photo by: Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren


These birds have a length of 5.5 in (14 cm) and a weight of 11 g (0.4oz). Their wings could range from 8.5 in (22 cm).


As one might anticipate of a flycatcher that inhabits northern bogs, this flycatcher feeds on a variety of midges (Chironomidae), stoneflies (Plecoptera), crane flies (Tipula spp. ), small beetles (Coleoptera), small caterpillars (Lepidoptera), and mosquitoes (Culicidae; Beal 1912). Food for our critically endangered flycatchers.


Yellow-bellied flycatchers like forested areas and hillsides. They favor damp habitats like as bogs and the margins of mixed timber and coniferous forests, particularly those adjacent to bodies of water.


Yellow-bellied flycatchers are extremely secretive and frequently difficult to observe due to their proclivity for hiding in the shrubby layer near the forest floor. Additionally, it is fairly silent throughout the breeding season, rarely singing. This adds to the difficulty of locating it.

Empidonax Flavive Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Chelicerata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Tryrannidae
  • Genus: Empidonax
  • Species: Empidonax flaviventris

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 Yellow-bellied Flycatcher in the USA

Breeds along the eastern Great Plains and along the Atlantic coast, from southern Canada to northern Florida, the Gulf Coast, and central Texas. Tropical winters.

The Yellow-bellied Flycatcher can be found in the following states in the United States – Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Empidonax Flavive – Yellow-Bellied Flycatcher

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