Did You Know? 19 Incredible Empidonax Flycatchers Facts

Interesting Empidonax flycatcher facts for kids.

A group of passerine or songbirds, the Empidonax flycatcher birds belong to the family of tyrant flycatcher, also known as Tyrannidae. The Empidonax genus consists of around 15 species of insectivore birds found primarily in North, South, and Central America. The yellow-bellied flycatcher (Empidonax flaviventris), Acadian flycatcher (Empidonax virescens), least flycatcher (Empidonax minimus), willow flycatcher (Empidonax traillii), alder flycatcher (Empidonax alnorum), and Hammond's flycatcher (Empidonax hammondii) are a few prominent species of the genus.

The feathers of these birds are quite similar and almost every songbird Empidonax species has olive-colored upper parts while the bellies and throats are dull. The eye rings and wing bars are white in color. The average weight and length of the Empidonax flycatchers are 0.013-0.030 lb (6-14g) and 5.11-8.66 in (13-22 cm) respectively and the least flycatcher (Empidonax minimus) is the smallest among all. The yellow-bellied, Pacific-slope, and Cordilleran Flycatcher birds are considered the most colorful birds of the group while the Hammond's flycatcher of Canada is known for its short darker bill and longer wings.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature has declared every species of the Empidonax genus as Least Concern. Keep on reading to learn more interesting facts about the Empidonax flycatcher. If you want to know more exciting information about different animals, check out the carrion crow and canyon wren.

Empidonax Flycatchers

Fact File

What do they prey on?


What do they eat?


Average litter size?

3-8 eggs

How much do they weigh?

0.013-0.030 lb (6-14 g)

How long are they?

5.11-8.66 in (13-22 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?


Skin Type


What are their main threats?

Loss of habitat, humans, predation

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Grasslands, tropical and subtropical coniferous forest, highlands, deciduous forests


North America, South America





Scientific Name






Empidonax Flycatchers Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an Empidonax flycatcher?

The Empidonax is a genus of insectivore passerine birds. The genus consists of 15 species such as the yellow-bellied flycatcher (Empidonax flaviventris), Acadian flycatcher (Empidonax virescens),least flycatcher (Empidonax minimus), willow flycatcher (Empidonax traillii), Hammond's flycatcher (Empidonax hammondii), alder flycatcher (Empidonax alnorum) and many more. These are some of the smallest North American birds.

What class of animal does an Empidonax flycatcher belong to?

The species belongs to the class of Aves, the family of tyrant flycatcher or Tyrannidae, and the Passeriformes order.

How many Empidonax flycatchers are there in the world?

The exact population of the Empidonax flycatcher birds is not known but several species are found across different parts of South and North American continents. The North American birds include the yellow-bellied flycatcher, willow flycatcher, alder flycatcher while the Acadian flycatcher and white-throated flycatcher birds are found in Central and Southern America.

Where do Empidonax flycatchers live?

The species of flycatchers are distributed to several parts of the South and North American continents. You can find these species in Canada, the United States, Colombia, Venezuela, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and several other countries as well.

What is an Empidonax flycatcher's habitat?

The Empidonax flycatcher habitat varies according to the species but these birds primarily inhabit the grasslands, tropical and subtropical coniferous forest, highlands, and deciduous forests.

Who do Empidonax flycatchers live with?

Several species such as the Pacific-slope and willow flycatcher birds are solitary while the Acadian flycatchers live in groups that comprise around 20-22 individuals. Those who prefer to live alone generally come together during the breeding season.

How long does an Empidonax flycatcher live?

Birds such as the yellow-bellied flycatchers only live for around 48 months while species such as the Acadian flycatchers and Pacific-slope flycatchers live for more than 10 and six years respectively.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season of several species generally occurs during the month of April and peaks in July. Some species are monogamous which means the male birds mate with a single female flycatcher, while others follow the system of polygyny in which the male birds mate with several female flycatchers in a season.

Before breeding, the birds are involved in several courtship displays which generally involve songs, calls, chasing or hovering around females, flicking wings and tails quickly. Some of the males usually sing throughout the breeding season to grab the attention of the female flycatcher birds. Birds such as the yellow-bellied flycatchers construct nests on grounds while the male Acadian birds are very territorial and defend their nests all the time.

The female flycatchers generally lay around three to eight eggs and the incubation period lasts for not more than 15 days. The young chicks generally remain with their parents and unlike other species, male birds are also involved in feeding and taking care of the chicks.

What is their conservation status?

The International Union for Conservation of Nature has declared every species of the Empidonax genus as Least Concern. But the population of several species has been declining over the years – a study revealed that more than 53% of the least flycatcher birds' population has vanished between the 1970s and 2014. Also, the number of Acadian flycatchers has gone down due to several reasons such as habitat loss, deforestation, and several other factors.

Empidonax Flycatchers Fun Facts

What do Empidonax flycatchers look like?

The Hammond's flycatcher birds, like other species, have olive-colored upper parts while the bellies and throats are dull. The eye rings and wing bars are white in color. These Canadian birds are best known for their short darker bills and longer wings.

The rare Empidonax flycatcher facts would make you love them.

How cute are they?

Like other species of the Passerine order, the most adorable thing about the Empidonax flycatcher birds would be their songs and during the months of April to July, these birds constantly sing to attract each other. Also, these birds are known for flicking their tails and wings quickly. We think you would love to know the fact that scientists generally distinguish these species based on their songs.

How do they communicate?

These songbirds use similar methods to communicate with each other. Every species, be it the willow flycatchers, least flycatcher birds, or any other flycatcher, use call notes, songs, and body movements as a medium of communication. The males are very territorial and vocal, unlike females. The birds also use several courtship displays to attract their partners.

How big is an Empidonax flycatcher?

While talking about the Empidonax flycatcher size, the average weight and length of the Empidonax flycatchers are 0.013-0.030 lb (6-14g) and 5.11-8.66 in (13-22 cm) respectively and the least flycatcher (Empidonax minimus) is the smallest among all. Also, the brown-crested flycatcher is twice the weight of the eastern wood pewee. The eastern wood pewee birds belong to the same family Tyrannidae.

How fast can an Empidonax flycatcher fly?

The exact weight of the flycatcher birds is not known as of now but after spotting prey, these birds dive and attack quickly.

How much do Empidonax flycatchers weigh?

The Empidonax flycatcher bird weighs around 0.013-0.030 lb (6-14g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names given to the male and female flycatcher birds. People generally use terms such as cock and hen to refer to male and female birds respectively.

What would you call a baby Empidonax flycatcher?

The babies of the Empidonax flycatcher bird are known as chicks. Terms such as juveniles and young flycatchers are also used to refer to the babies of the birds.

What do they eat?

The flycatcher bird primarily preys on insects such as worms and snails. Some of the species also consume fruits. The species dwelling in zoos also consume crickets, beetles, and spiders.

Are they dangerous?

Generally, the Empidonax flycatcher bird prefers to live alone. Also, no information regarding human interaction is available at the moment. Every species of the Empidonax genus dwells in the forest and are not harmful to humans. But the male bird is quite territorial and aggressive. Some species even possess sharp bills and can attack if someone tries to threaten them or their babies.

Would they make a good pet?

Unlike other species, the species of the Empidonax group are not considered pets. The flycatcher bird is very hard to tame and is not friendly to humans. We can also witness a reduction in the population of several species such as the least flycatcher. In several countries, it is illegal to keep these birds. Instead of keeping them as pets, we should think and take the required steps for bird conservation.

Did you know...

As we know all the species of flycatchers have olive-colored plumage and pale wing-bars, hence, it is very difficult to identify the species of these birds. But for identifying Empidonax flycatchers, scientists generally study the songs of the species.

The least flycatchers generally prey on small insects such as ants, wasps, caterpillars, and many more.

A few species such as the yellow-bellied flycatchers sometimes feed on seeds.

The willow flycatcher birds are found in North American countries such as the United States and Canada. Also, several subspecies can easily be spotted in California, a state of the United States.

What does Empidonax mean?

The term 'Empidonax' has been derived from the Greek word 'empis' that means insects and the species of the Empidonax group are known for their insect catching skills. Also, the term 'gnat' is synonymous with 'empis'.

Do flycatchers migrate?

Yes, all the species of the Empidonax group are migratory and the birds change their habitat during the winter season. Species such as the Acadian flycatcher are found in the deciduous forest of Canada while the birds move to Mexico and Caribbean nations during winters. Also, the least flycatcher birds migrate to Central America.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our chipping sparrow facts or great tit facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable crow coloring pages.



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