|Conservation status||Has lost some habitat with cutting of forests in the northwest, but still widespread and common.|
|Habitat||High conifer forests; in migration, other trees. Breeds in cool coniferous forests, often where conifers such as Douglas-fir or spruce are mixed with aspens or other deciduous trees. In some areas, may breed in pure stands of aspens. Winters mostly in pine-oak woods of mountains in Mexico and Central America.|
Forages by watching from a perch and then flying out to catch insects, usually returning to perch to eat them. Uses feeding perches at various heights in forest, often low; may take insects in mid-air, from surface of foliage or branches, or from the ground.
4, sometimes 3. Creamy white, sometimes lightly spotted with reddish brown. Incubation is by female only, 15-16 days. Young: Female broods young when they are small, and both parents bring food to nestlings. Age of young at first flight about 16-18 days. Young may remain in a group, tended by parents, for a week or more after fledging.
Female broods young when they are small, and both parents bring food to nestlings. Age of young at first flight about 16-18 days. Young may remain in a group, tended by parents, for a week or more after fledging.
Insects. Apparently feeds only on insects. Summer diet includes beetles, caterpillars, moths, flies, leafhoppers, and small wasps. Winter diet not well known.
In courtship, male approaches female, giving trilled call and fluttering wings. Nest site is on horizontal branch of tree (often Douglas-fir, pine, fir, or aspen), 10-100' above the ground, averaging about 25-35' up. Nest (built by female, rarely with help from male) is cup of weed stems, grass, strips of bark, lichens, and other items, lined with finer materials such as feathers, fur, and plant down. Spiderwebs often worked into nest. Nest looks more like those of wood-pewees than those of other Empidonax flycatchers.
Text © Kenn Kaufman, adapted from
Lives of North American Birds
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Migration is spread over long period in both spring and fall, with some lingering late in fall. During spring, adult males migrate north earlier than females.
- 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.Learn more
Songs and CallsSong is seweep-tsurp-seep, the last part rising. Calls are a high peep (like the note of a Pygmy Nuthatch) and a soft wit.
Learn more about this sound collection.