Conservation status Numbers in Arizona vary from year to year, but no obvious long-term trend.
Family Tyrant Flycatchers
Habitat 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.
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.

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.


4-5. Creamy white, finely but distinctly marked with brown, lavender, and olive gray. Details of incubation not well known, lasts about 2 weeks. Young: Probably both parents bring food for nestlings. Age of young at first flight not well known, probably about 2 weeks.


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


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.

Illustration © David Allen Sibley.
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Text © Kenn Kaufman, adapted from
Lives of North American Birds

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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.

  • All Seasons - Common
  • All Seasons - Uncommon
  • Breeding - Common
  • Breeding - Uncommon
  • Winter - Common
  • Winter - Uncommon
  • Migration - Common
  • Migration - Uncommon

See a fully interactive migration map for this species on the Bird Migration Explorer.

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Songs and Calls

A plaintive pee-ur, rising and then falling in pitch, followed by a soft huit. Call note a soft huit.
Audio © Lang Elliott, Bob McGuire, Kevin Colver, Martyn Stewart and others.
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