Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Alder Flycatcher (Empidonax alnorum)


French: Moucherolle des aulnes German: Erlenschnäppertyrann Spanish: Mosquero alisero

Empidonax traillii alnorum


, 1895,

Upton, Maine, USA


See E. albigularis (above). Formerly considered conspecific with E. traillii. Birds in NW of range (Alaska, Yukon Territory and NW Mackenzie), named as race alascensis, may average larger, with paler head and slightly paler back; further study needed. Monotypic.


W Alaska S to SC British Columbia and E to Canadian Maritime provinces, and from Great Lakes E in USA to New England and S to N Indiana, Ohio and, in Appalachians, to North Carolina. Winters mainly W South America from NW Venezuela, Colombia and E Ecuador S to E Peru and N & E Bolivia; probably also in E Panama and N Argentina.

Descriptive notes

13–17 cm; 12–14 g. Has narrow indistinct pale lores and whitish eyering (rarely, lacking); rest of head drab olive, crown slightly darker than upperparts; wings... read more


Common call a short “pip”, “pit”, “tip”, “bic”,... read more


Breeds in wet thickets and shrubby wetlands near forest. These habitats include alder-buckthorn (... read more

Food and feeding

Arthropods; also fruit in winter. Insects include hymenopterans, beetles (Coleoptera), flies (Diptera), lepidopterans, orthopterans.... read more


Mid-Jun to early Aug; short breeding season, 70–90 days. Nest built by female, a cup loosely constructed from various plant materials... read more


Long-distance migrant, wintering almost exclusively in South America; more S winter distribution... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common; total population estimated at 49,000,000 individuals. Densities 0·02–6 pairs/ha at various sites. Historical... read more

Recommended citation

Farnsworth, A. & Lebbin, D. (2019). Alder Flycatcher (Empidonax alnorum). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 13 December 2019).