Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Near Threatened

Olive-sided Flycatcher (Contopus cooperi)


French: Moucherolle à côtés olive German: Olivflanken-Schnäppertyrann Spanish: Pibí boreal

Muscicapa cooperi


, 1831,

#R, latitude 54° N, banks of the River Saskatchewan, Canada


Formerly placed in a monotypic genus, Nuttallornis. Specific name previously listed as borealis, but cooperi has priority. Larger birds in SW (S California, N Baja California) sometimes separated as race marjorinus. Monotypic.


N & W Alaska E across C Canada to Maritime provinces, and S in USA to N California, also locally into NW Mexico (Baja California), in interior through Idaho and W Montana to NE Arizona, NW New Mexico and W Texas and, in E, to boreal regions of Adirondacks and New England S to Appalachian Mts. Winters locally in W & S Mexico (from Jalisco and S Veracruz) S to Panama and (mainly in mountainous regions) from Colombia and Venezuela S to SE Peru and NW Bolivia; more locally in the Guianas, S Amazonia (from lower R Amazon S to C Bolivia and Tapajós basin) and SE Brazil.

Descriptive notes

18–20 cm; 32–37 g. Stout, large-headed, short-tailed flycatcher with peaked crest. Has head and upperparts drab brownish or grey-olive, wings dusky, indistinct... read more


Song, mainly by male on breeding grounds, a sharp and penetrating loud three-noted whistle, “... read more


Breeds in montane and coniferous forests, forest openings, edges, burned areas, borders of streams... read more

Food and feeding

Insects, including hymenopterans, dipterans, lepidopterans, orthopterans, Odonata, and coleopterans (Scolytidae). Searches for prey while... read more


Late May to Aug. Cup-nest built by female, of twigs and rootlets, often lined with Usnea beard lichen, grass and pine needles,... read more


Long-distance migrant, wintering in Central and South America; longest migration route of any North... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Uncommon to locally fairly common. Global population estimated at 1,200,000 individuals. Survey data show... read more

Recommended citation

Farnsworth, A. & Lebbin, D. (2019). Olive-sided Flycatcher (Contopus cooperi). 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).