Description of the Alder Flycatcher

BREEDING MALE

Alder Flycatcher 2 gl
© Greg Lavaty.

The Alder Flycatcher is greenish above, with white eye rings and two whitish wing bars. The underside of its bill is mostly yellow.

 

Female

Sexes similar.

Seasonal change in appearance

Very little, although wing bars are narrower in the fall.

Juvenile

Juveniles have buffier wing bars than adults.

Habitat

Moist willow and alder thickets.

Diet

Insects.

Behavior

Alder Flycatchers fly out from a perch to capture insects in flight, or pick them off of vegetation while hovering.

Range

Alder Flycatchers breed widely over the northeastern U.S. and most of southern Canada. They winter in South America.

Fun Facts

The Alder Flycatcher is so similar to the Willow Flycatcher, neither of which vocalizes on the wintering grounds, that determining the winter ranges of the two species was and is difficult.

Late to arrive on breeding grounds and quick to depart, the Alder Flycatcher’s breeding season is short.

Vocalizations

The typical song is a “fee-BEE-o” with the accent on the second syllable.

Nesting

The Alder Flycatcher’s nest is a cup of stems, twigs, and grasses and is lined with finer materials. It is placed in a vertical fork of a tree or shrub.

Number: 3-4.
Color: Whitish with darker markings.

Incubation and fledging:
- Young hatch at about 12-14 days.
- Young fledge (leave the nest) at about 13-14 days, but associate with the adults for some time.