Empidonax traillii
(Willow Flycatcher)


Order: Passeriformes
Order Description: Passerines
Family: Tyrannidae
Family Description: Tyrant Flycatchers

Physical Description:
Size: 5.25-6.75" (13-17cm). This Empidonax flycatcher is olive- brown above and light on the throat, breast and belly. Pale eye-ring. Two white to off- white wing bars. Bill broad, dark above, light below.

Similar Species- Most Empidonax flycatchers are so similar in appearance that it is nearly impossible to tell them apart be sight alone without a bird in hand. Luckily, their songs and calls along with habitat are good diagnostics.

Song:
A sneezy, emphatic Ftiz-bhew! also a dry Whit!

Distribution:
Breeds from central British Columbia, east to southern Minnesota and Nova Scotia, and south to southern California, western and central Texas, Arizona, and portions of southeastern United States. Winters from central Mexico to Colombia.

Habitat:
Found in thickets, scrubby and brushy areas, open second growth, swamps, and open woodlands. In Idaho study of riparianClick word for definition birds, Willow Flycatchers were intermediate in association with mesicClick word for definition and xericClick word for definition willow habitats.

Diet:
Eats insects.

Ecology:
Catches prey in air, or takes food from foliage. builds cup-shaped nest in shrub or deciduous tree. In Ontario study, territory size ranged from about 1000 to 4700 m2. Although Willow Flycatchers are declining in Pacific Northwest, their numbers in Idaho appear stable.

Reproduction:
Female incubatesClick word for definition 3-4 eggs for 12-15 days. Young are tended by both parents, and leave nest at 12-15 days. Occasional polygynyClick word for definition may occur. High rate of cowbird parasitism occurs in northern Colorado.

Conservation:
Element Code: ABPAE33040
Status: Protected nongame species
Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S4,NTMB
National Rank: N5B

Important State References:
Sharp, B. 1986. Management guidelines for the Willow Flycatcher. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Portland. 21pp.


Photo by C. Trost ,©1999
Song by Gregory Gough, 1997
Design by Ean Harker©1999, 2000.
Written by Jason Karl, 2000.