|Conservation status||Evidently has been declining in some regions for many years, particularly so in recent decades. Loss of wintering habitat has been suggested as one possible cause.|
|Habitat||Conifer forests, burns, clearings. Breeds mostly in coniferous forest of the north and the higher mountains, especially around the edges of open areas including bogs, ponds, clearings. Also nests near the coast in California, in tall trees (including eucalyptus) in foothill canyons.|
Forages by watching from a high, exposed perch, often on a dead branch at very top of tree, flying out to catch passing insects in the air, then returning to its perch to eat them. Always or almost always takes insects in mid-air, not from foliage or ground.
3, rarely 2-4. White to pinkish buff, with brown and gray spots concentrated at larger end. Incubation is by female only, 16-17 days, sometimes reported as 14 days. Young: Fed by both parents. Age of young at first flight about 21-23 days.
Fed by both parents. Age of young at first flight about 21-23 days.
Insects. Apparently feeds almost entirely on flying insects. In summer, a high percentage of these are various kinds of wasps, winged ants, and bees, including many honeybees. Also eats beetles, grasshoppers, true bugs, moths, and others. Winter diet not well known.
Male defends nesting territory by singing incessantly in spring. Courtship behavior not well known, probably involves active chasing through the treetops. Nest site is in tree, usually on horizontal branch well out from the trunk. Conifers preferred in most areas, but in other areas will often nest in deciduous trees; height also quite variable, 5-70' above ground. Nest usually well hidden among dense twigs or needles. Nest (probably built by female) a flat open cup of twigs, grass, weeds, lined with finer materials.
Text © Kenn Kaufman, adapted from
Lives of North American Birds
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Tends to migrate late in spring and early in fall, but migration is spread over a long period. Winters mostly in South America, a few in Central America.
- 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 a distinctive and emphatic quick-three-beers; call a loud pip-pip-pip.
Learn more about this sound collection.