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Olive-sided Flycatcher


IUCN Conservation Status: Near Threatened

A distinctive large flycatcher of the boreal and western coniferous forests, the Olive-sided Flycatcher gives its "quick-three-beers" song from the tops of tall snags. It makes dashing flights from its high perch to catch flying insects, then returns to the same perch.

At a GlanceHelp

Both Sexes
7.1–7.9 in
18–20 cm
1.1–1.3 oz
32–37 g
Other Names
  • Moucherolle à côtés olive (French)
  • Pibí boreal (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • The Olive-sided Flycatcher is frequently associated with burned forests. The opened area and the abundant snags may help it to catch flying insects.
  • When flushed off the nest during incubation, the female often drops down toward ground without beating her wings.
  • Defends its nest 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 rereleased during banding operations in California.


Open Woodland

  • 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.



Flying insects, especially bees.


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.
Nest Description

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

Nest Placement




Sallies out from top of tall tree or snag to catch flying insect, and frequently returns to the same perch. Beats large prey on perch.


status via IUCN

Near Threatened

Olive-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.


Range Map Help

Olive-sided Flycatcher Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings

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