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Merlin Bird ID

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    Olive-sided Flycatcher Life History


    Habitat Open Woodlands

    • Breeds in montane and northern coniferous forests, at forest edges and openings, such as meadows and ponds.
    • Winters at forest edges and clearings where tall trees or snags are present.
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    Food InsectsFlying insects, especially bees.Back to top


    Nest Placement

    Nest Tree

    Nest Description

    Nest is an open cup of twigs, rootlets, and lichens, placed out near tip of horizontal branch of a tree.

    Nesting Facts
    Clutch Size:2-5 eggs
    Egg Description:Creamy white or buff with ring of brownish spots on large end.
    Condition at Hatching:Hatch naked and helpless.
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    Behavior FlycatchingSallies out from top of tall tree or snag to catch flying insect, and frequently returns to the same perch. Beats large prey on perch.Back to top


    Conservation DecliningOlive-sided Flycatcher declined by over 3.3% per year between 1966 and 2014, resulting in a cumulative decline of 81%, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 1.7 million, with 49% spending some part of the year in the U.S., 2% in Mexico, and 51% breeding in Canada. The species rates a 13 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score. Olive-sided Flycatcher is a Tri-National Concern species, and is on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List, which lists bird species that are at risk of becoming threatened or endangered without conservation action. Declines may be due to a loss of wintering habitat. Back to top


    Altman, B and R Sallabanks. 2012. Olive-sided Flycatcher (Contopus cooperi), 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, David Allen. 2014. The Sibley guide to birds, second edition. Alfred A Knopf, New York.

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