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alder flycatcher

alder flyctcher (Empidonax alnorum)
Photo ©

Features and Behaviors

The alder flycatcher is a small bird, about five and one-half inches in length (tail tip to bill tip in preserved specimen). It has a light eye ring and two, white wing bars. The body is uniformly gray-green. The male and the female have the same appearance. The flattened bill has tiny bristles at the base. The legs are short.

The alder flycatcher is a common migrant throughout Illinois. It may be seen along forest edges and fence rows as it moves through the state. Spring migrants are in Illinois from May through July. This bird does nest close to Illinois, as it is a common nester in Wisconsin. The nest is built in a shrub and placed less than six feet above the ground. It is composed of a loose arrangement of grasses, mosses, cattail down and other plant materials. Three or four white eggs with brown markings are deposited by the female. She alone incubates for the 12- to 14-day incubation period. Fall migration through Illinois occurs from August through October. The alder flycatcher winters in South America. This flycatcher eats insects. The song produced by this bird is “fee-bee-o.”

Illinois Range


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Tyrannidae

Illinois Status: common, native