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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.

At a GlanceHelp

Measurements
Both Sexes
Length
5.5–5.9 in
14–15 cm
Wingspan
8.7 in
22 cm
Weight
0.4–0.5 oz
11–14 g
Other Names
  • Moucherolle gris (French)
  • Mosquero gris (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • The similarity of Gray and Dusky flycatchers has caused confusion for a long time. In fact, the specimen designated as the "type" for Dusky Flycatcher was actually a Gray Flycatcher.
  • The Gray Flycatcher was not recognized as breeding in the United States until the early 20th century. Before that time it was thought to breed in northern Mexico and to wander northward in the fall.

Habitat


Open Woodland

Sagebrush, pinyon pine and juniper, or open ponderosa pine forests.

Food


Insects

Flying insects.

Nesting

Nest Placement

Shrub

Behavior


Flycatching

Takes insects on the wing or from the ground; perches on dead branches and twigs between forays.

Conservation

status via IUCN

Least Concern

Gray Flycatchers are relatively common and populations increased between 1966 and 2014, acceding to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 3 million, with 99% spending part of the year in the U.S., 97% in Canada, and 1% breeding in Canada. This is a U.S.-Canada Stewardship species and rates a 9 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score. Gray Flycatcher is not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List.

Credits

Range Map Help

Gray Flycatcher Range Map
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bird image Blue-winged Warbler by Brian Sullivan

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