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Gray Flycatcher

Empidonax wrightii ORDER: PASSERIFORMES FAMILY: TYRANNIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A typical species of the Great Basin sagebrush, the Gray Flycatcher can be quickly recognized not by its drab plumage, but by its habit of slowly wagging its tail downwards.

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Appearance

Flycatchers
Flycatchers
Typical Voice

Adult Description

  • Small flycatcher.
  • Prominent eyering and wingbars.
  • Back gray, belly white.
  • Constantly wags tail slowly downward.

Immature Description

Similar to adult, but upperparts tinged brownish, underparts with buff wash, and wingbars buff.

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Similar Species

  • Closely resembles Dusky and Hammond's flycatchers. Habitat, song, and sometimes range are the best ways to distinguish among these species. Gray Flycatcher's downward tail wagging is distinctive; other Empidonax flycatchers flick their tail upward.
  • Gray and Hutton's vireos also are small, drab, birds with white wingbars, but the vireos have a more horizontal perching posture and narrow, hooked bills.