Acadian Flycatcher Life History


Habitat Forests

  • Breeds in mature forest, especially deciduous woods, along streams, in ravines, and in swamps.
  • Winters in lowland tropical forest and second growth.
Back to top


Food InsectsInsects, insect larvae, and other arthropods.Back to top


Nest Placement

Nest Tree

Nest Description

Nest a shallow, thin cup of fine materials held together with spider and insect silk, usually dangling streamers of material on silk below nest. Slung hammock-like in fork of small branch in tree, usually over water.

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size:2-3 eggs
Number of Broods:1-2 broods
Egg Length:0.6-0.8 in (1.6-2 cm)
Egg Width:0.5-0.6 in (1.2-1.5 cm)
Incubation Period:13-15 days
Nestling Period:12-18 days
Egg Description:Creamy to buffy white with some small brownish spots at larger end.
Condition at Hatching:Helpless with some white down.
Back to top


Behavior FlycatchingCaptures insects primarily by snatching them from leaves, especially from the undersides. Also hovers to glean insects and catches some in flight. Occasionally forages on ground.Back to top


Conservation Low ConcernAcadian Flycatcher numbers declined by about 13% between 1966 and 2014, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 4.5 million birds, with 100% breeding in the U.S. They rate an 11 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score and are not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List, although they are a U.S.-Canada Stewardship species. These birds are vulnerable to forest fragmentation and loss of wintering habitat.Back to top


Allen, Michael C., Megan M. Napoli, James Sheehan, Terry L. Master, Peter Pyle, Donald R. Whitehead and Terry Taylor. (2017). Acadian Flycatcher (Empidonax virescens), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.

Lutmerding, J. A. and A. S. Love. Longevity records of North American birds. Version 2015.2. Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Bird Banding Laboratory 2015.

North American Bird Conservation Initiative. (2014). The State of the Birds 2014 Report. US Department of Interior, Washington, DC, USA.

Partners in Flight (2017). Avian Conservation Assessment Database. 2017.

Sauer, J. R., J. E. Hines, J. E. Fallon, K. L. Pardieck, Jr. Ziolkowski, D. J. and W. A. Link. The North American Breeding Bird Survey, results and analysis 1966-2013 (Version 1.30.15). USGS Patuxtent Wildlife Research Center (2014b). Available from

Sibley, D. A. (2014). The Sibley Guide to Birds, second edition. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, USA.

Back to top

Looking for ID Help?

Get Instant ID help for 650+ North American birds.

Try Merlin Bird ID