Variegated Flycatcher

Empidonomus varius




Tyrant Flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

White to pale buff, heavily spotted with red brown

Number of Eggs:

3 - 4

Incubation Days:

14 - 16

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

On branch or fork of tree., 8 - 25 feet above ground.

Nest Material:

Twigs, bark, leaf stems, and grasses.





Variegated Flycatcher: Medium-sized flycatcher with dark brown-and-black scaled upperparts, thick, dark brown eye-line on pale face, thin brown moustache stripe, and dark-streaked, pale yellow underparts. Wing feathers are dark with pale edges. Tail feathers are dark with thick rufous edges. Upper mandible is black, lower mandible is dark with yellow base. Sexes are similar.

Range and Habitat

Variegated Flycatcher: This is a South American species, but it occurs accidentally in North America. It has been recorded in central Maine, southern Missouri, northeast Oregon, southeast Washington, and extreme southern Ontario. This species prefers tropical or subtropical lowland forests and degraded former forest habitats.

Breeding and Nesting

Variegated Flycatcher: Three to four white to pale buff eggs heavily spotted with red brown are laid in a cup nest made of twigs, bark, leaf stems, and grass, and built on a horizontal tree branch 8 to 25 feet above the ground. Incubation ranges from 14 to 16 days and is carried out by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Variegated Flycatcher: Eats mostly insects, berries, and fruits; forages from a low perch, flying out to catch insects in mid-air, and then returning to perch to eat.

Readily Eats

Meal Worms


Variegated Flycatcher: Makes a gently whistled, high "zreeeee." Also utters an abrasive "chee-chee-chuuuuuuu."

Similar Species

Variegated Flycatcher: Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher is larger, has longer bill, has paler upperparts, brighter yellow underparts, and has a rufous tail.


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

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
Lower mandibleX
The lower part of the bill.
Upper mandibleX
The upper part of the bill.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X