Bird GuideTyrant FlycatchersDusky-capped Flycatcher
Dusky-capped Flycatcher
Myiarchus tuberculifer

At a Glance

The mournful whistle of the Dusky-capped Flycatcher is a common sound in woodlands almost throughout the American tropics. This bird reaches its northern limits in Arizona and New Mexico, where it is common in summer in canyons and pine-oak forest. There are places in the lower canyons of Arizona where it can be found side by side with two close relatives in the crested flycatcher group, the Ash-throated and Brown-crested flycatchers.
Perching Birds, Tyrant Flycatchers
Low Concern
Arroyos and Canyons, Desert and Arid Habitats, Forests and Woodlands, Shrublands, Savannas, and Thickets
California, Northwest, Southwest
Direct Flight, Flitter, Hovering

Range & Identification

Migration & Range Maps

Probably a permanent resident over most of its range. Summer resident only in southwestern United States. Departs early; most are gone before the end of August.


6 1/2 -7" (17-18 cm). Small with relatively large bill; gray throat and chest contrast with yellow belly. Smaller than Brown-crested Flycatcher, more contrasty than Ash-throated, and shows less reddish in tail than either.
About the size of a Robin, About the size of a Sparrow
Black, Brown, Gray, Yellow
Wing Shape
Tail Shape
Notched, Rounded, Square-tipped

Songs and Calls

A plaintive pee-ur, rising and then falling in pitch, followed by a soft huit. Call note a soft huit.
Call Pattern
Falling, Flat
Call Type
Buzz, Chirp/Chip, Trill, Whistle


Oak slopes, pine-oak canyons, junipers. In United States, usually found around tall oaks or pine-oak woods in the mountains. Also found along streams at middle elevations among tall cottonwoods and sycamores. In the tropics, inhabits many types of forest.



4-5. Creamy white, finely but distinctly marked with brown, lavender, and olive gray. Details of incubation not well known, lasts about 2 weeks.


Probably both parents bring food for nestlings. Age of young at first flight not well known, probably about 2 weeks.

Feeding Behavior

Forages mostly within the foliage of tall trees. Flies out from a perch, hovers for a moment while taking an insect from the leaves or twigs, then lands on another perch to eat it. Sometimes catches insects in mid-air.


Mostly insects. Diet is not known in detail, but includes many small insects such as various flies, moths, caterpillars, beetles, treehoppers, wasps, and bees. Also eats some small fruits and berries.


Nesting behavior is not well known. Male defends nesting territory in spring with conspicuous calls and song. Nest site is in hole in tree (often oak or sycamore), either a natural cavity or an old woodpecker hole. Height varies, 10-60' above the ground, but usually fairly high. Nest built inside cavity is a bulky mass of weeds, grass, twigs, strips of bark, plant fibers, leaves, and feathers, with a lining of softer material such as animal hair or plant down.

Climate Vulnerability

Conservation Status

Numbers in Arizona vary from year to year, but no obvious long-term trend.

Climate Map

Audubon’s scientists have used 140 million bird observations and sophisticated climate models to project how climate change will affect the range of the Dusky-capped Flycatcher. Learn even more in our Audubon’s Survival By Degrees project.

Climate Threats Facing the Dusky-capped Flycatcher

Choose a temperature scenario below to see which threats will affect this species as warming increases. The same climate change-driven threats that put birds at risk will affect other wildlife and people, too.