Birda Logo
Features
Birda+
About
Species Guide
Challenges
Shop
loading...
A photo of a Alder Flycatcher (Empidonax alnorum)
Alder Flycatcher

Alder Flycatcher

Empidonax alnorum

The Alder Flycatcher, Empidonax alnorum, is a modestly sized member of the tyrant flycatcher family, with a length ranging from 13 to 17 centimeters and a weight between 12 to 14 grams. Its wingspan extends from 8.3 to 9.4 centimeters. The upperparts are a muted greenish-olive, with the crown a shade darker than the back. A white throat contrasts with a darker breast band, and the eyes are encircled by thin white rings. The bill is of moderate length and width, with a pinkish or yellow-orange lower mandible and a black upper mandible. The wings are generally black, adorned with white wing bars and white-edged innermost secondaries, known as tertials. Juvenile birds display brownish upperparts and yellow underparts, with wingbars tinged in yellowish brown or buff.

Identification Tips

Distinguishing the Alder Flycatcher can be challenging due to its similarity to other species such as the Eastern Wood-Pewee and the Eastern Phoebe, as well as its near-identical cousin, the Willow Flycatcher. However, the Alder Flycatcher is smaller in size and can be recognized by its characteristic behavior of flicking its tail upwards.

Habitat

During the summer breeding season, the Alder Flycatcher inhabits wet, dense, shrubby thickets dominated by alder, maple, and birch trees at elevations below 400 meters.

Distribution

The Alder Flycatcher breeds across most of Canada and Alaska, with its range extending to the northeastern United States. Come autumn, it migrates southward through the eastern United States, Mexico, and Central America, spending the winter in western South America.

Behaviour

The Alder Flycatcher is known for its distinct tail flicking behavior. While its courtship behavior remains somewhat enigmatic, it is believed to involve males pursuing females through the trees.

Song & calls

The song of the Alder Flycatcher is a clear "fee-bee-o," often accompanied by the bird throwing its head back and shaking its tail. Its calls include a "pit" sound when foraging and various calls associated with aggression, territory defense, and excitement.

Breeding

Nests are built low in bushes within shrubby thickets, loosely constructed from grass, weeds, bark, and small twigs, with soft materials like plant down lining the inside. Females are primarily responsible for nest building. The species lays 3-4 creamy-white or buff eggs, speckled with dark markings. Incubation lasts 12-14 days, and both parents care for the altricial young, which fledge around two weeks of age.

Similar Species

The Alder Flycatcher is often confused with the Willow Flycatcher, Eastern Wood-Pewee, and Eastern Phoebe, but can be differentiated by its size and distinctive tail flicking.

Diet and Feeding

The diet consists mainly of insects from the Hymenoptera, Coleoptera, Diptera, Lepidoptera, and Orthoptera families, captured in flight or gleaned from foliage. In winter, some individuals may also consume fruit and seeds.

Conservation status

The Alder Flycatcher is classified as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List. While populations are stable in the United States, there has been a notable decline in Canada. The species has a Continental Concern Score of 9 out of 20 and is recognized as a U.S.-Canada Stewardship species.

Alder Flycatcher Sounds


Recorded by: © 
App logo
Birda is a birdwatching app and community aimed at curious people who want to deepen their connection with nature.

Alder Flycatchers on Birda

Photos
Sightings

More Tyrant Flycatchers, Calyptura

Birda Logo

Your birdwatching journey like never before

Connect with nature in minutes
Take a walk, look out of the window and log the birds that you see. Feel good about those little connections to nature.
Discover the joy of birding
Find new birding spots, see more birds, share and celebrate with a like-minded community of nature lovers.
Play your part in saving nature
Logging your birding sightings and sessions turns into positive action for our planet. Every sighting counts.

Birda Blog

What Our Birders Say
Dan R
Great app for bird fanatics
Great app for bird fanatics - very user friendly and a perfect place to share sightings.
SuperOliviaGirl
Really great app
It’s easy to use and it’s fun to log the birds you notice on a walk or just in your garden. There’s a option to record the birds you see in a session which is really nice. Good excuse to stop for a while and just watch birds. I am also enjoying the information part where you can find out fact about birds from all over the world.
Jane N
A great app
Enjoying it immensely and finding it useful too. Recording the different birds and counting them is showing me how the present climate is affecting them all. I've trebled the numbers by planting native hedging. A great app.
Nicole
Gets me outdoors more
I'm still loving this app. I use it most days & gets me outdoors more. Enjoying watching others progress and photo's, it's improved my wellbeing.... I love this app! I can keep a record of sightings and see what others have seen too.
Trevarthen1
Birda fan
I really enjoy using Birda, all sightings are recorded and photos can be added. There are monthly challenges which help to get you out to record your sightings. The Birda community are great and are happy to help with unidentified bird sightings. Suitable for all ages and experience!
Tralisalandhoop
Fantastic app - Love it!
Love this app and have used it almost daily. Lots of species information and easy to use. Love seeing birds spotted by other users in the UK and worldwide.
Hip An
Fantastic
Really enjoying Birda where I live i have a lot of Red kites really hard to photograph but I can video are you planning some place on the app where us Birda can post vids🦉🦅
Ellesse_W
Learning Birding with Birda
I’m relatively new to birding as a hobby, and Birda is a great way to keep track off all the species I see. I’m still working on my ID skills, but the app is great for figuring out potential species, and the online community is so friendly and helpful. Definitely recommend Birda to both early and serious birders! 🐦
David C
Very knowledgeable group
Nice friendly birding community. Very knowledgeable group with a willingness to help.
Stewart W
Fantastic to be involved
Fantastic to be involved, great for mental health and gets you responding with the Challenges that are to takd part in.
As featured in
Birda Logo
AboutPressAmbassadorsAffiliatesInfluencersCareersPrivacyTerms & Conditions
An app for birdwatchers
Connect with us
Copyright © 2024 Chirp Birding. All rights reserved.