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Least Flycatcher

Empidonax minimus ORDER: PASSERIFORMES FAMILY: TYRANNIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A small drab flycatcher of open woods, the Least Flycatcher is one of the smallest and most common flycatchers in North America.

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At a GlanceHelp

Measurements
Both Sexes
Length
4.7–5.5 in
12–14 cm
Wingspan
7.9 in
20 cm
Weight
0.3–0.5 oz
8–13 g
Other Names
  • Moucherolle tchébec (French)
  • Mosquerito mínimo, Tontín chebec (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • Unlike most species of songbird, adult Least Flycatchers migrate to their wintering grounds before molting, while young birds molt before and during autumn migration. Why such a pattern has developed remains unclear, but it may result from strong selection on adults for early arrival and establishment of territories on the wintering grounds.
  • One Least Flycatcher nest was found to have used dragonfly wings as nest lining.

Habitat


Forest

Breeds in semi-open woodlands, orchards, and shrubby fields. Winters along wooded ravines, woodland edge, and brushland.

Food


Insects

Mostly insects, some fruit in winter.

Nesting

Nesting Facts
Egg Description
Yellowish or creamy white, unmarked.
Condition at Hatching
Helpless and with only small patches of down.
Nest Description

Neat open cup woven of bark strips, grass, caterpillar webs, lichens, hair, feathers, rootlets, mosses, and other bits of vegetation; lined with fine grasses, feathers, hair, down, and plant stems; placed in crotch or fork of small tree.

Nest Placement

Tree

Behavior


Flycatching

Captures insects by hawking and hover-gleaning.

Conservation

status via IUCN

Least Concern

Common. Some populations may be slightly declining.

Credits

  • Briskie,  J. V. 1994. Least Flycatcher (Empidonax minimus). In The Birds of North America, No. 99 (A. Poole and F. Gill, Eds.). Philadelphia: The Academy of Natural Sciences; Washington, D.C.: The American Ornithologists' Union.

Range Map Help

Least Flycatcher Range Map
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