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Ash-throated Flycatcher


IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A common flycatcher of open arid areas of the West, the Ash-throated Flycatcher nests in holes in trees, fence posts, and nest boxes.

At a GlanceHelp

Both Sexes
7.5–8.3 in
19–21 cm
11.8–12.6 in
30–32 cm
0.7–1.3 oz
21–38 g
Other Names
  • Tyran à gorge cendrée (French)

Cool Facts

  • Unlike most members of its genus, the Ash-throated Flycatcher only occasionally uses snakeskin in its nest. Only 5% of nests examined contained reptile skin, but 98% had mammal hair. Rabbit fur was the most frequently used.
  • The Ash-throated Flycatcher frequently uses man-made structures for nesting. It readily uses nest boxes, as well as pipes, fence posts, ledges under eaves or porches, and even in clothes hanging on a clothesline. The use of artificial structures may have offset the loss of natural nest sites by development, and may be responsible for an increase in numbers.
  • The Ash-throated Flycatcher is a rare, but regular vagrant to the East Coast. Individuals turn up nearly every year, and have been found in all coastal states and provinces. Sightings are less frequent from inland areas in the East and Midwest.
  • The oldest known Ash-throated Flycatcher was just under 12 years old, when it was recaptured and rereleased during a banding operation in California.


Open Woodland

Arid and semiarid scrub, open woodland, and riparian woodlands.



Arthropods and small fruit. Occasionally small reptiles and mammals.


Nesting Facts
Clutch Size
2–7 eggs
Egg Description
Creamy white with sparse dark streaks and blotches.
Condition at Hatching
Helpless and naked.
Nest Description

Nests in cavities, such as woodpecker holes and nest boxes. Nest made of dry grass, weed stems, manure, dry leaves. Lined with hair, feathers, soft plant fibers, and, rarely, shed snakeskin.

Nest Placement




Captures insects off vegetation and on ground. Flycatches somewhat less often, usually using different perches in between sallies.


status via IUCN

Least Concern

Ash-throated Flycatcher populations slowly increased between 1966 and 2014, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 7.4 million, with 70% spending some part of the year in the U.S. and 79% in Mexico. They rate a 9 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score and are not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List.


Range Map Help

Ash-throated Flycatcher Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings

Backyard Tips

Consider putting up a nest box to attract a breeding pair. Make sure you put it up well before breeding season. Attach a guard to keep predators from raiding eggs and young. Find out more about nest boxes on our Attract Birds pages. You'll find plans for building a nest box of the appropriate size on our All About Birdhouses site.

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