Alder Flycatcher

Empidonax alnorum




Tyrant Flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

White with brown spots on larger end.

Number of Eggs:

3 - 4

Incubation Days:

12 - 14

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

In tree., 1 - 4 feet above ground.

Nest Material:

Bark, weeds, stems, and grasses., Lined with plant down or other soft materials.





Alder Flycatcher: Small flycatcher with olive-brown upperparts, white underparts, and indistinct white eye-ring. Wings are olive-brown with two white or pale bars. Bill is short with orange lower mandible. Sexes are similar.

Range and Habitat

Alder Flycatcher: Breeds from Alaska east through Manitoba to Newfoundland and south to British Columbia, Great Lakes region, much of New England, and into the Mid-Atlantic states. Spends winters in tropics. Preferred habitats include alder and birch thickets near riparian areas, swamps, bogs, and ponds.

Breeding and Nesting

Alder Flycatcher: Three to four brown-spotted, white eggs are laid in a cup-shaped nest made from bark, weeds, stems, and grass and lined with plant down or other soft materials. Nest is built in a shrub or tree 1 to 4 feet above the ground. Incubation ranges from 12 to 14 days and is carried out by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Alder Flycatcher: Feeds on insects, berries, and a few seeds. Frequently hovers and snatches flying prey from the air; also gleans insects, berries, and seeds from vegetation.


Alder Flycatcher: Song is a descending, buzzing "fee-beer" or a rapid "wee-bee." On the breeding grounds, the song is a hoarse and descending "wheer." Call is a very loud and piping "peep."

Similar Species

Alder Flycatcher: Once considered the same species as Willow Flycatcher, which may have paler eye-ring; however, most individuals are indistinguishable in appearance and are best identified by voice, breeding habitat, or nest. Acadian and Yellow-bellied flycatchers are greener above and more yellow below. Least Flycatcher is grayer above, shorter-tailed, and smaller.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
Lower mandibleX
The lower part of the bill.
Relating to or living or located on the bank of a natural watercourse (as a river) or sometimes of a lake or a tidewater. 
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X