- ORDER: Passeriformes
- FAMILY: Tyrannidae
The Olive-sided Flycatcher whistles an instantly recognizable quick, three beers! across its rugged habitat of coniferous mountain forests, bogs, and muskeg. This husky, barrel-chested flycatcher is the largest of the pewees, with heavy grayish markings on the sides as if the bird is wearing a waistcoat. Olive-sided Flycatchers are vigorous defenders of their territory and nest, chasing rivals and predators with the fervor of a kingbird. Look for them singing from open perches in the highest parts of live or dead trees. These birds are also fairly common in recently burned forests.More ID Info
Find This Bird
Olive-sided Flycatchers are vocal in spring and early summer, so listen for the abrupt quick, three beers! song of the male as well as for quick, distinctive pip-pip-pip call notes. Once you hear one, look high in conifer tops and especially dead trees to find the singer. The bird’s stocky shape, heavy bill, and heavily marked sides help identify this species even at long range. In winter, look for them in mountain forests of Panama and the northern Andes between about 3,300 and 6,600 feet elevation.
- Pibí boreal (Spanish)
- Moucherolle à côtés olive (French)
- Cool Facts
- Of all the flycatcher species that breed in the United States, Olive-sided Flycatcher has the longest migration, with some migrating between central Alaska and Bolivia, a distance of 7,000 miles.
- Olive-sided Flycatchers are frequently found in burned forests. The opened area and many dead trees (for perches) may help it to catch flying insects, which can be abundant after forest fires.
- Olive-sided Flycatchers defend their nests aggressively. A pair was observed to knock a red squirrel off a nest limb and chase it away.
- The oldest recorded Olive-sided Flycatcher was at least 11 years, 1 month old when it was recaptured and re-released during banding operations in California.