Yellow-bellied Flycatcher (Empidonax flaviventris)

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher (Empidonax flaviventris)

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Tyrannidae | [latin] Empidonax flaviventris | [UK] Yellow-bellied Flycatcher | [FR] Moucherolle a ventre jaune | [DE] Birkentyrann | [ES] Mosquero Ventriamarillo | [NL] Berkenfeetiran


Monotypic species

Physical charateristics

The decidedly yellowish underparts (including throat) separate this northern flycatcher from all other small empids except the Cordilleran and Pacific-slope flycatchers, which have a different range.

Listen to the sound of Yellow-bellied Flycatcher

[audio: Flycatcher.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

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North America : North


Woods; in summer, boreal forests, muskegs, bogs.
Breeds in wet northern forest, especially in spruce bogs with ground cover of sphagnum moss, also in tamarack-white cedar swamps, and in willow-alder thickets along streams in dense coniferous forest. In winter, lives in undergrowth of tropical forest.


Male defends nesting territory by singing, often from an exposed perch. Adults tend to be quiet and inconspicuous around the nest.
Nest: Site is usually i
n dense sphagnum moss on or just above the ground in boggy places; sometimes placed among the upturned roots of a fallen tree, or in other sheltered low spot. Generally well hidden within mosses with only a small entrance showing, and very difficult to fi
nd. Nest is bulky cup of mosses, mixed with weeds and rootlets, lined with grass, sedges, and many fine rootlets.
Eggs: 3-4, sometimes 5. White, lightly spotted with brown. Incubation is by female only, 12-14 days.
Young: Both parents bring food for nestlings. Age of young at first flight about 13-14 days. Probably only 1 brood per year.

Feeding habits

Mostly insects. Feeds on flying insects and those taken from foliage, including many ants and small wasps, also flies, beetles, true bugs, caterpillars, moths, and others. Also eats
many spiders, and eats small numbers of berries and sometimes seeds.
Forages by watching from a perch, usually at low to mid levels in the forest, and then flying out to catch insects in the air. Also takes some food (such as caterpillars and spiders) from foliage or twigs while hovering. May sometimes take some insects w
hile perched.


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher status Least Concern


Canada, northeastern United States. Winters Mexico to Panama.
b Migration: Spring migration is notably late, with most northbound migrants passing through in mid to late May. Almost all migration is through the east, even for birds nesting in far western Canada.

Distribution map

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher distribution range map

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