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

Alder Flycatcher, Empidonax alnorum

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.

Alder Flycatcher, Empidonax alnorum

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

Adults have olive-brown upper parts, browner on the wings and tail, with whitish underparts, they have a white eye ring, white wing bars, a small bill and a short tail. The breast is washed with olive-grey. The upper part of the bill is grey; the lower part is orangish. At one time, this bird was included with the very similar Willow Flycatcher in a single species, “Traill’s Flycatcher”.

Their breeding habitat is deciduous thickets, often alders or willows, near water across Canada, Alaska and the northeastern United States. They make a cup nest low in a vertical fork in a shrub.

These birds migrate to South America, usually selecting winter habitat near water.

They wait on a perch near the top of a shrub and fly out to catch insects in flight, also sometimes picking insects from foliage while hovering. They may eat some berries and seeds.

This bird’s song is a wheezed ree-BEE-a. The call is a quick preet.

On to my photos:

Alder Flycatcher, Empidonax alnorum

Alder Flycatcher, Empidonax alnorum

Alder Flycatcher, Empidonax alnorum

Alder Flycatcher, Empidonax alnorum

Alder Flycatcher, Empidonax alnorum

Alder Flycatcher, Empidonax alnorum

Alder Flycatcher, Empidonax alnorum

Alder Flycatcher, Empidonax alnorum

Alder Flycatcher, Empidonax alnorum

Alder Flycatcher, Empidonax alnorum

Alder Flycatcher, Empidonax alnorum

Alder Flycatcher, Empidonax alnorum

Alder Flycatcher, Empidonax alnorum

Alder Flycatcher, Empidonax alnorum

This is number 151 in my photo life list, only 199 to go!

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

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12 responses

  1. Nice catch! Not a bird that one would easily notice.

    March 25, 2014 at 7:06 am

    • Thank you! All the flycatchers are inconspicuous!

      March 25, 2014 at 8:37 am

  2. Wonderful images and goal … you are almost halfway there! I really admire bird photogs … you are a patient bunch!

    March 25, 2014 at 7:40 am

    • Thank you Denise!

      March 25, 2014 at 8:37 am

  3. Love learning something new with each post. Thanks.

    March 25, 2014 at 8:55 am

    • Thanks Judy, I’m glad that you’re enjoying these!

      March 25, 2014 at 9:00 am

  4. The Editors of Garden Variety

    Your photos are quite beautiful!

    March 25, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    • Thanks, but I could never get close to either of the pair that nested here, maybe I’ll have better luck this summer.

      March 26, 2014 at 1:51 am

  5. Excellent photos Jerry. I don’t know how I missed this post?? It must be the first one of yours that I’ve missed in about 3 years.

    March 26, 2014 at 10:59 am

    • Thanks, it’s no big deal, I read your most recent post but haven’t commented on it yet as I’m pressed for time, and it deserves a thoughtful comment.

      March 26, 2014 at 1:44 pm

  6. Wow, what a commute! Bird migration is such an amazing thing, right?

    March 30, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    • Yes, it is, I’d get lost!

      March 30, 2014 at 9:08 pm