Boreal Birds
300+ species, billions of birds rely on Canada's boreal forest as critical breeding grounds
© Dominic Sherony/Wikimedia Commons (CC 2.0)

Hammond's Flycatcher

Hammond's Flycatcher
Empidonax hammondii
Perching Birds | Family: Tyrant Flycatchers, Tyrannidae

An estimated 13% of the species' North American population breeds within the Boreal Forest.

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Overview

Since climatic conditions at sea level in the North are similar to those at higher elevations farther south, this flycatcher is able to nest in boreal forest on the low plains of Alaska as well as in subalpine forest, at around 10,000 feet (3,050 meters), in the southern Rocky Mountains.

Description

5-5 1/2" (13-14 cm). Olive-gray above; light throat, gray breast, pale yellow belly. Conspicuous white eye ring and white wing bars. Throat not as white as Alder Flycatcher's, breast darker and bill narrower and shorter than Dusky Flycatcher's, but field identification is very difficult. Flicks wings and tail more vigorously than other similar species.

Voice

Song is seweep-tsurp-seep, the last part rising. Calls are a high peep (like the note of a Pygmy Nuthatch) and a soft wit.

Nesting

3 or 4 white eggs, occasionally spotted, in a well-built cup nest saddled on a branch 15-60' (4.5-18 m) high in a coniferous tree.

Habitat

Mature coniferous forests at high altitudes.

Range/Migration

Breeds from eastern Alaska south to northern California and northern New Mexico. Winters in tropics, rarely in Arizona.