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Alder Flycatcher

ID Info
  • Alder Flycatcher
  • Alder Flycatcher
  • Alder Flycatcher  video
Silhouette FlycatchersFlycatchers
Alder FlycatcherEmpidonax alnorum
  • ORDER: Passeriformes
  • FAMILY: Tyrannidae

Basic Description

A flycatcher of wet thickets across northern North America, the Alder Flycatcher is a rather indistinct olive-green bird with bold wingbars and a distinctive, raspy song of free-beer! It’s unusual among Empidonax flycatchers for having only an indistinct pale eyering, a trait it shares with the very similar Willow Flycatcher. Alder Flycatchers thrive in open settings such as bogs and beaver ponds, where they sit on high perches and fly out to catch insects from nearby leaves or in midair.

More ID Info
image of range map for Alder Flycatcher
Range map provided by Birds of the World
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Find This Bird

In the breeding season, visit wet bogs and listen for this species’ raspy, somewhat phoebe-like two-parted song. Alder Flycatchers look so similar to Willow Flycatchers that it’s very difficult to separate them except by range (in the breeding season) or voice. Alder Flycatchers generally breed farther north than Willow, and where their summer range dips south along the high ridges of the Appalachians they tend to segregate by elevation, with Alders taking the higher ground. During fall migration, however, it’s often best to leave quiet birds unidentified.

Other Names

  • Mosquero Alisero (Spanish)
  • Moucherolle des aulnes (French)
  • Cool Facts