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Bird Gallery

Alder Flycatcher

Alder Flycatcher
Alder Flycatcher

© Joseph Kennedy

Empidonax alnorum

Family: (Tyrannidae) Tyrant Flycatchers

Preferred Habitat: Wooded swamps

Seasonal Occurrence: Occasional in spring and fall.

Notes by Susan Billetdeaux: One of the confusing "empids" (grayish plumage with pale wing-bars and eye-rings), Alder Flycatchers are best identified by their call, a buzzy free-BEEER-yeer with strong accent on the first syllable. Alder Flycatchers and Willow Flycatchers formerly were considered one species, "Traill's Flycatcher", and many birders continue that tradition. They are extremely difficult to separate by visual means alone. In direct comparison, Alder Flycatchers have slightly shorter bills. Alder Flycatchers breed in Canada and the northeastern states where they favor alder and birch trees in swamps.

Comments by Don Verser: Alders are identified by "pip" call note. Larger empids with strong tricolored underparts i.e., white throat, gray breast, and yellowish belly, are suggestive of Alder/Willow. Alders have distinctive eye rings.