My adventures in the woods, streams, rivers, fields, and lakes of Michigan

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Empidonax flaviventris

Note: this post, while published, is a work in progress, as are all posts in this series, My Photo Life List. My goal is to photograph every species of bird that is seen on a regular basis here in Michigan, working from a list compiled by the Michigan chapter of the Audubon Society. This will be a lifelong project, that I began in January of 2013, and as I shoot better photos of this, or any other species, I will update the post for that species with better photos when I can. While this series is not intended to be a field guide per se, my minimum standard for the photos in this series is that one has to be able to make a positive identification of the species in my photos. The information posted here is from either my observations or the Wikipedia, the online free encyclopedia, however, I have personally shot all the photos appearing in this series.

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Empidonax flaviventris

The Yellow-bellied Flycatcher is a small insect-eating bird of the tyrant flycatcher family.

Adults have greenish upper parts and yellowish underparts (especially on the throat), with a dusky wash on the chest. They have a white or yellow eye ring that lacks the teardrop projection of Pacific-slope or Cordilleran Flycatchers, white or yellowish wing bars that contrast strongly against the black wings, a broad, flat bill, and a relatively short tail when compared to other members of the genus. The upper mandible of the bill is dark, while the lower mandible is orange-pink.

Their breeding habitat is wet northern woods, especially spruce bogs, across Canada and the northeastern United States. They make a cup nest in sphagnum moss on or near the ground.

These birds migrate to southern Mexico and Central America.

Yellow-bellied Flycatchers wait on a perch low or in the middle of a tree and fly out to catch insects in flight, sometimes hovering over foliage. They sometimes eat berries or seeds.

The Yellow-bellied Flycatcher’s song can be transcribed as a rough, descending “TSE-berk,” which can be similar to the more common Least Flycatcher’s snappier, more evenly pitched “che-bek.” The three primary call notes of Yellow-bellied Flycatcher are a clear, ascending “chu-wee,” a sharp, gruff “peekk”, and a soft, descending “pyu.”

On to my photos:

Yellow-bellied flycatcher

Yellow-bellied flycatcher

Yellow-bellied flycatcher

Yellow-bellied flycatcher

Yellow-bellied flycatcher

Yellow-bellied flycatcher

This is number 91 in my photo life list, only 259 to go!

That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!

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2 responses

  1. What a cool bird ! Haven’t seen one before.

    May 3, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    • It was, and I hadn’t seen on until then either.

      May 4, 2013 at 2:27 am