Empidonax Oberholseri – Dusky Flycatcher

Empidonax Oberholseri - Dusky Flycatcher found in the Western part of US

The American dusky flycatcher, Empidonax oberholseri, sometimes referred to as the dusky flycatcher, is a tiny insectivorous passerine member of the tyrant flycatcher family. These species are extremely similar in appearance and behavior, and are notorious for being difficult to distinguish.

Quick Overview: Empidonax Oberholseri – Dusky Flycatcher
Body size: Around 5.75 in (15 cm) and a weight of 11 g (0.4 oz)
Main colors: Olive (Green), Gray, Brown
Range: Western United States
Migratory Bird: Yes
Best time of the year to see in the U.S.: June, July, August, September
Conservation Status: Least Concern

Dusky flycatcher Description

The underparts are frequently a streaky mixture of olive and gray. The hue of the bill varies. With a brownish olive back and a pale grayish belly, this flycatcher is a little flycatcher.

Empidonax Oberholseri - Dusky Flycatcher found in the Western part of US
Empidonax Oberholseri – Dusky Flycatcher. Photo by: Charlie Jackson

Size

These birds have a length of 5.75 in (15 cm) and a weight of 11 g (0.4 oz). Their wings could range from 8-9 in (20-23 cm).

Feeding

Dusky Flycatchers feed primarily on insects caught in flight.

Habitat

The Dusky Flycatcher is a widespread breeding species in much of western North America’s mountainous interior. It is found in open coniferous forest, mountain chaparral, aspen groves, streamside willow thickets, and brushy open places.

Behavior

They perch on an open perch and fly out to grab flying insects (hawking), as well as occasionally picking insects from vegetation while hovering (gleaning).

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Chelicerata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Passerifromes
  • Family: Tyrannidae
  • Genus: Empidonax
  • Species: Empidonax oberholseri

Other common names

These birds are also called American dusky flycatchers.

Best time of the year to see

The best time to see these birds in the United States is during the summer season (June – September).

Distribution of the Dusky flycatcher in the USA

Breeds in southern California, central Arizona, and northern New Mexico, from British Columbia and western South Dakota south to southern California, central Arizona, and northern New Mexico. Winters in southern Arizona and Texas, south of the US-Mexico border.

The Dusky flycatcher can be found in the following states in the United States – Kansas, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, and Oklahoma.

Empidonax Oberholseri – Dusky Flycatcher

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