Birda Logo
Species Guide
A photo of a Hammond's Flycatcher (Empidonax hammondii)
Hammond's Flycatcher

Hammond's Flycatcher

Empidonax hammondii

The Hammond's Flycatcher, Empidonax hammondii, is a diminutive bird, measuring 12-14 cm in length with a wingspan of approximately 22 cm and a weight range of 8-12 grams. It is characterized by grayish-olive upperparts, which are darker on the wings and tail, and contrasting whitish underparts. A distinctive white eye ring and white wing bars are notable, along with a small bill and a short tail. The breast is tinged with grey, and the belly sides bear a hint of yellow. Sexual dimorphism is subtle, with females typically sporting a shorter, wider bill than males. Immature birds resemble adults but have broader wing bars and a more buff appearance.

Identification Tips

To distinguish the Hammond's Flycatcher from its congeners, one should pay close attention to its vocalizations, breeding habitat, and range. It is often confused with the Dusky and Gray Flycatchers, which share similar coloration and size, and have overlapping ranges. However, the Hammond's Flycatcher's call, breeding habitat preferences, and geographic distribution are key differentiators.


The Hammond's Flycatcher selects mature coniferous and mixed forests for breeding, with a particular affinity for dense fir forests, as well as conifer and aspen woodlands interspersed with dogwood. During winter, it occupies habitats akin to its breeding grounds.


This migratory bird breeds in the western regions of North America, including parts of Montana, Wyoming, California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado, as well as in British Columbia, Yukon, and Alberta in Canada. Some individuals venture as far north as Alaska. The breeding range is largely shaped by historical glaciation events. Come winter, the Hammond's Flycatcher heads to Mexico and Central America.


The Hammond's Flycatcher is a solitary songster, commencing its melodious calls in early May upon arrival at breeding sites. The frequency of its song is heightened early in the mating season and diminishes as summer wanes. Unpaired males are more vocal and sing at a higher frequency than those that have found mates. Aggressive interactions, such as bill-snapping and mandible-clicking, are employed in threatening situations.

Song & Calls

The song of the Hammond's Flycatcher is a hoarse and varied sequence of notes, described as "ssilit, greeep, silit, pweet," while its call is a sharp "peek." Notably, these vocalizations are absent during fall migration and on wintering grounds.


Believed to be monogamous, the Hammond's Flycatcher engages in physical combat at the onset of the breeding season, with males locking together midair and fluttering to the ground. Nesting occurs high in tall trees, with a preference for the northeast or southwest sides, shielded by leaves. The species favors old-growth forest for nesting, with trees aged at least 80 to 90 years. The female lays three to four creamy white eggs, sometimes speckled with reddish-brown, in early June. Incubation lasts about 15 days, with both parents feeding the altricial young.

Similar Species

The Hammond's Flycatcher can be mistaken for the Dusky and Gray Flycatchers. Careful observation of behavior, habitat preference, and vocalizations are necessary for accurate identification.

Diet and Feeding

This flycatcher preys on a variety of insects, including beetles, flies, bees, butterflies, and moths, averaging 5.7 mm in length and 1.656 mg in weight. It employs hawking and gleaning techniques to capture its prey, often launching from an open perch in the upper canopy.

Conservation status

The Hammond's Flycatcher is currently listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List, indicating that it does not face immediate threats to its survival.

Hammond's 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.

Hammond's Flycatchers on Birda


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
Really useful
Downloaded to give it a try, everything worked perfectly, recorded my first bird watching walk. Very impressed. Have already recommended to friends!
Paul F
Very good database
Highly recommend. It great that this app shows you male Vs female variations when posting. Very good database I'm really impressed.
Safira V
Birding and wellbeing app
Birda is an excellent platform to share your love of Birding and is a great tool of encouragement for a Birding Beginner like me. Birda has a very kind and supportive community of Birding enthusiasts. For me BIRDA is not only a BIRDING but also a WELLBEING App.
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!
Recommend for any bird watcher
Very wholesome app: I joined this app with a new interest in watching birds to help me find out what I was spotting. The community is very active in helping identify birds which is great and everyone is very kind so it’s just a nice wholesome community. I would definitely recommend this for any bird spotter πŸ˜ƒ
Carl B
Helped me to identify more birds
Love this app and has helped me to identify more birds. The challenges and badges are great for keeping the motivation going to get out and keep birding.
Terrific App for Birders
Downloaded Birda around the time my interest in birding was sparked, and it has been a terrific app to help me (1) share my experience, (2) document my sightings, and (3) learn more about birds in general. That said, I also believe Birda is a fantastic app for birders of all experience levels. Great community!
Talli A
My favourite app
As a young birdwatcher who was always keen to be apart of a community but never seemed to find one, my problem was solved downloading this!!! Everyone is so friendly and just as excited to see birds as me 😁
Great app for learning Birds
I’ve been using the app for a couple of months and love it....Someone said it’s like a real life PokΓ©mon Go for birds. They’re not far off! It’s something that the family can do that gets you out and about. Well worth downloading no matter your age.
Unbridled Discoveries
Great app for bird lovers
I love this app! It’s a wonderful way to track birding sessions, and also connect you with fellow birders. I also really like the unidentified bird section, it’s a great community tool to help figure out what a never-before-seen bird is!
As featured in
AboutPressAmbassadorsAffiliatesInfluencersCareersPrivacyTerms & Conditions
An app for birdwatchers
Giving back
Connect with us
Copyright Β© 2024 Chirp Birding. All rights reserved.