Pacific-slope Flycatcher

ID Info
  • Pacific-slope Flycatcher
  • Pacific-slope Flycatcher
  • Pacific-slope Flycatcher
Silhouette FlycatchersFlycatchers

Pacific-slope Flycatcher

Empidonax difficilis
  • ORDER: Passeriformes
  • FAMILY: Tyrannidae
Basic Description

An attractive small flycatcher that looks like several other attractive small flycatchers in the genus Empidonax, the Pacific-slope Flycatcher breeds in forests and mountains along the West Coast. It’s a soft greenish brown bird with a bold eyering and two white wingbars, complemented by a bright yellow wash below. The closely related Cordilleran Flycatcher lives in similar habitats in interior western North America—the two were considered the same species, called “Western Flycatcher,” until 1989. Females disguise their nests with moss and lichen, stuck on with bits of spiderweb.

More ID Info
image of range map for Pacific-slope FlycatcherRange map provided by Birds of North AmericaExplore Maps

Find This Bird

As with many Empidonax flycatchers, voice is the best way to find and identify Pacific-slope Flycatchers. Listen for the male’s sharp song and rising call note, given frequently during the first few weeks of nesting. During the breeding season, and also during migration in April and September, a streamside hike through a wooded canyon has a good chance of turning up a Pacific-slope Flycatcher. Concentrate especially on spots where bug-filled gaps in the forest canopy make for good flycatching.

Other Names
  • Mosquero del Pacífico (Spanish)
  • Moucherolle côtier (French)
  • Cool Facts