American dusky flycatcher

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American dusky flycatcher
American Dusky Flycatcher.JPG
About this soundSong 
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Tyrannidae
Genus: Empidonax
E. oberholseri
Binomial name
Empidonax oberholseri
Phillips, 1939
Empidonax oberholseri map.svg

The American dusky flycatcher, or simply dusky flycatcher, (Empidonax oberholseri) is a small, insectivorous passerine of the tyrant flycatcher family.

The dusky flycatcher is one of many species in the genus Empidonax. These species are very similar in appearance and behavior, and they are notoriously difficult to differentiate. The best characteristics for distinguishing these species are voice, breeding habitat, and range.


Adults have olive-gray upperparts, darker on the wings and tail, with whitish underparts; they have a noticeable medium-width white eye ring, white wing bars and a medium length tail. The breast is washed with olive-gray. The bill is mainly dark. It is a bit smaller than the American grey flycatcher and a bit larger than the Hammond's flycatcher.


The male sings a three-part song. A common call is a dry whit, similar to that of other Empidonax flycatchers. A less common call that is possibly only given by male is a sad dew-hic.


The scientific name commemorates the American ornithologist Harry Church Oberholser.


These birds migrate to southern Arizona and Mexico. As non-breeding residents in the south of their migration range, they are passage migrants over the deserts of the southwest US, the Mojave, Sonoran, and Chihuahuan Deserts, where they make their stops along the flyway.


Their breeding habitat is mountain slopes and foothills with brush and scattered trees (especially ponderosa pine) across western North America. They make a cup nest low in a vertical fork in a shrub.


They wait on an open perch and fly out to catch insects in flight, (hawking), also sometimes picking insects from foliage while hovering, (gleaning).


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Empidonax oberholseri". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.

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