|Species: Olive-sided Flycatcher
With its loud resounding song—quick, THREE BEERS!—and its position
of prominence perched atop a large tree or snag, the Olive-sided
Flycatcher is one of the most recognizable inhabitants of North
America’s coniferous forests.
This flycatcher undergoes one of the longest and most protracted
migrations of all nearctic migrants and the longest migration route
of any flycatcher breeding in North America.
It winters in Panama and the Andes Mountains of South America.
This is a large flycatcher appearing proportionally bull-headed, and
short-tailed with a stout bill. Easily identified by large size and
“vested” plumage pattern on underparts.
Length 18-20 cm, weight 32-27 g.
Dark patches on either side of white breast and belly are
distinctive and often likened to appearance of an unbuttoned vest.
Occasionally white patch is also visible along sides or flanks. Dark
wings, with only indistinct pale-grayish wing-bars. Adult plumages
are similar throughout the year.
Sexes are alike in appearance. The sexes are best distinguished in
the hand by wing length, which is longer in the males.
The plumage is similar to that of an adult, except the upperparts
are more brownish, and the wing-bars are washed buff.
This flycatcher could be potentially confused with similarly sized
Greater Pewee. The Greater Pewee is distinguished by fairly uniform
colour of under parts (center of breast and belly not pale and thus
not contrasting with dark sides and flanks).
See the Olive-sided Flycatcher perched conspicuously on tops of
trees from which they fly out (sallying) to snatch flying insects,
and then return to the same or another prominent perch.
is common in North America’s coniferous forest. It breeds in habitat
along forest edges and openings, including burns; natural edges of
bogs, marshes, and open water; semi-open forest; and harvested
forest with some structure retained. Tall, prominent trees and
snags, which serve as singing and foraging perches, and unobstructed
air space for foraging, are common features of all nesting habitats.
Flycatchers prey almost exclusively on flying insects, especially
bees. Their typical foraging behaviour of “sallying” or “yo-yo
flight” has led to this species being described as “the Peregrine of
This bird is monogamous and produces 3-4 eggs per clutch and 1
clutch per pair per year. Nests are open-cup structures placed at
various heights above ground and well out from the trunk of a
coniferous tree in a cluster of needles and twigs on a horizontal
In the past 30
years this species has experienced significant declines in
populations throughout its range, causing it to be listed as a
Species of Concern in some areas.