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Yellow-bellied Flycatcher

Silhouette FlycatchersFlycatchers
Yellow-bellied FlycatcherEmpidonax flaviventris
  • ORDER: Passeriformes
  • FAMILY: Tyrannidae

Basic Description

Perhaps one of the easier flycatchers to identify in the notoriously difficult Empidonax genus, the Yellow-bellied Flycatcher sports yellowish underparts and a bold eyering, unlike others in the family. It is a bird of the boreal forests and bogs where its yellowish belly seems to disappear on its breeding grounds. But its abrupt and harsh song, sung with gusto, betrays its whereabouts. On its Mexican and Central American wintering grounds listen for a soft rising call.

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

As with many flycatchers, finding a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher means learning its song and calls. Not only will it help with finding them, but the songs and calls are the surefire way to tell the tricky Empidonax apart. Luckily, the Yellow-bellied Flycatcher is also more visually distinct than many other “empids.” Listen for their abrupt and harsh che-lek and its high-pitched rising call, which is reminiscent of an Eastern Wood-Pewee. Look for them flycatching in the lower or middle levels of the forest.

Other Names

  • Mosquero Ventriamarillo (Spanish)
  • Moucherolle à ventre jaune (French)

Backyard Tips

Yellow-bellied Flycatchers won't visit your feeder and aren't likely to nest in your backyard, but you can still provide habitat for them during migration. Native trees and shrubs tend to host more insects than non-native plants and these insects will help fuel them on their way to and from their breeding and wintering grounds. For a starter list of bird-friendly native plants for your yard, read this article from All About Birds.

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