Olive-sided Flycatcher - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Olive-sided Flycatcher - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Olive-sided Flycatcher - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Olive-sided Flycatcher - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image  
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Mountain Nature Network has become THE place for learning about the birds of the Canadian Rockies.

Olive-sided Flycatcher
Contopus borealis

Flycatchers
Flycatcher Family (Tyrannidae)

Size: Length: 18-20.5 cm (7-8 in)

Description: The olive-sided flycatcher is a common flycatcher of coniferous forests, but you'll likely hear it before you see it. It's call is one of the most distinctive calls in the mountains, and sounds something like: "quick three beers...quick three beers".

Look for a drab bird, with a gray to olive gray head, shoulder, and back. The breast and belly are white with dull gray along the sides. The dark wings have two white bands visible and light patch near the rump on each side (may not be visible). The tail is dark.

Similar Species: The western wood-pewee is similar to the olive-sided flycatcher, but the pewee lacks the white patches near the rump. Pewees also lack the white centre breast patch.

Range: They are found across much of Canada and the western United States. Within the Rockies, they are a common breeder throughout the Canadian and American Rockies.

Habitat: They dwell in the coniferous forest, often using the very tip of a tall conifer as a perching spot. They will dart from this spot to catch some insects on the wing, and then return to the same favourite location. They have a fondness for either dead trees or those with many dead branches near the crown. They are also popular in former forest fire sites and marshlands, both areas with plenty of standing dead trees.

Diet: They feed on flying insects, which they catch on the wing.

Nesting: They nest in conifers, often very high up in the tree. The nest may be as high as 21 m (70 ft). The small cup-shaped nest is usually built along a horizontal branch, well concealed in foliage. The nest uses a great amount of 'old man's beard' lichen (Usnea spp.) along with twigs, grass and needles. They generally lay 3 eggs, which hatch after 16-17 days. The young are altricial, fledging after 15-19 days.

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All Material Ward Cameron 2005

 

 

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