Olive-sided Flycatcher (Contopus cooperi)

Olive-sided Flycatcher

Olive-sided Flycatcher (Contopus cooperi)

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Tyrannidae | [latin] Contopus cooperi | [UK] Olive-sided Flycatcher | [FR] Moucherolle a cotes olive | [DE] Yungastyrann | [ES] Pibi Boreal | [NL]


Monotypic species

Physical charateristics

The Olive-sided Flycatcher is a stout, block-headed, short-tailed bird with a large bill. The back is olive-Grey-brown, with similar colored streaked sides. Dull white runs from the throat down the center of the breast to the light belly. Some characterize this underside as an ?unbuttoned vest.? Pure white tufts are sometimes visible on perched birds poking from behind the wings above the rump, and also in front of the wings on the sides

Listen to the sound of Olive-sided Flycatcher

[audio:http://www.aviflevoland.nl/sounddb/O/Olive-sided Flycatcher.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 13 cm size max.: 14 cm
incubation min.: 15 days incubation max.: 19 days
fledging min.: 15 days fledging max.: 19 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 4  


North America : North, Northwest


Primarily montane and northern coniferous forests, usually at mid- to high-elevations. Within coniferous forest biome, most often associated with forest openings, forest edges near natural openings (e.g., meadows, bogs, canyons, rivers) or human-made openings (e.g., harvest units), or open to semi-open forest stands. Presence in early successional forest appears dependent on availability of snags or residual live trees for foraging and singing perches. Frequently occurs along wooded shores of streams, lakes, rives, beaver ponds, bogs and muskegs, where natural edge habitat occurs and standing dead trees often are present.


Female appears to choose nest site, although some males suggest locations by repeatedly flying to certain branches while female is nearby and bellying down into foliage as if molding lining of a nest. Generally saddled on top of a horizontal branch, well out toward the tip, often where overhanging branch provides some security and protection from weather. Most nests in coniferous trees, although observed in trembling aspen and willow. Female constructs a loosely formed, somewhat bulky, shallow and relatively small nest. Foundation and frame mostly twigs and rootlets, also uses arboreal lichens. Female incubates the 3-4 eggs for 15-19 days. Male may bring food to female on nest, particularly during early incubation. Nestling period is 15-19 days. Actual time of departure from nest is difficult to ascertain because nestlings spend time on branches near the nest before their first flight, and some birds return to nest or nest branches after fledging. Some departures, particularly when nestling period is protracted or when other nestling have already departed, are solicited by adults with food.

Feeding habits

Unlike many other flycatcher species that can attack prey by hovering and striking or pouncing on prey on the ground, Olive-sided Flycatchers are restricted almost entirely to sallying for aerial prey. Typically sallies out to snatch a flying insect, then returns to the same or another prominent perch. A passive sit-and-wait predator, remaining perched until prey is sighted, then actively pursues prey, including insects that are often difficult to capture. Feeds almost exclusively on flying insects. Bees, wasps, and flying ants make up a large portion of the diet; also takes flies, moths, grasshoppers and dragonflies. In Alaska, eats Yellow-jacket Wasps.


The species has undergone a moderately rapid decline and therefore qualifies as as Near Threatened.
Olive-sided Flycatcher status Near Threatened


Winters in South America, mainly in the Andes from Colombia and Venezuela to southeastern Peru; in small numbers in Central America and southern Mexico, also in Amazonian and southeastern Brazil.

Distribution map

Olive-sided Flycatcher distribution range map

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