Empidonax Virescens – Acadian Flycatcher

Empidonax Virescens - Acadian Flycatcher found in the Eastern part of United States

The Acadian flycatcher, Empidonax virescens is a small insectivorous bird belonging to the family of tyrant flycatchers. The Acadian flycatcher is migratory from the Neotropics. The Acadian flycatcher is a good flyer; it is incredibly nimble, capable of hovering and even reverse flight. Surprisingly, there is no scientific information about this bird’s hopping or walking.

Quick Overview: Empidonax Virescens – Acadian Flycatcher
Body size: Around 5.75 in (15 cm) and a weight of 14 g (0.5 oz)
Main colors: Olive-Gray, Gray, Yellow, Yellow-Orange, Black
Range: Eastern United States
Migratory Bird: Yes
Best time of the year to see in the U.S.: June, July, August, September
Conservation Status: Least Concern

Acadian flycatcher Description

Olive-gray upperparts, pale gray throat, characteristic pale yellow eye-ring, white lower breast, and a faint yellow wash on belly and undertail coverts characterize this small flycatcher. Olive-gray wings with two buff wing bands. Long bill with a broad base and a yellow-orange lower mandible. Legs and feet in black.

Empidonax Virescens - Acadian Flycatcher found in the Eastern part of United States
Empidonax Virescens – Acadian Flycatcher. Photo by: Don Faulkner


These birds have a length of 5.75 in (15 cm) and a weight of 14 g (0.5 oz). Their wings could range from 8.75 in (22 cm).


Acadian flycatchers feed on insects. It perches on a limb and awaits its approach. It then swoops down and snatches the insect in mid-air. Additionally, it collects insects from vegetation.


It is found in beech, maple, and hemlock forests, mainly beneath the canopy, but occasionally in clearings and wooded ravines.


It feeds largely via gleaning and sally-hovering on insects and other arthropods, preferring the undersides of leaves. Aerial hawking and ground feeding techniques are occasionally used to capture animals. Occasionally, small amounts of fruit are consumed.

Empidonax virescens Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Chelicerata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Tyrannidae
  • Genus: .Empidonax
  • Species: Empidonax virescens

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 Acadian flycatcher in the USA

It breeds in deciduous woodlands, frequently near bodies of water, throughout the eastern United States and southwestern Ontario. These migrants pass through eastern Mexico and the Caribbean on their way to southern Central America and the far northwest of South America, where they winter in Colombia, western Venezuela, and Ecuador.

The Acadian 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, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Empidonax Virescens – Acadian Flycatcher

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