Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Yellowish Flycatcher (Empidonax flavescens)


French: Moucherolle jaunâtre German: Sumpfschnäppertyrann Spanish: Mosquero amarillento

Empidonax flavescens


, 1865,

Barranca, Costa Rica


See E. flaviventris. Sometimes considered conspecific with E. difficilis. Race salvini moderately distinct in plumage, differing from nominate in its greener, less fulvous breastband (2), paler yellow throat and belly (1) and larger size (effect size for longer tail 2.29, score 2); but vocally it appears no different#R. Three subspecies recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • E. f. salvini Ridgway, 1886 – Salvin's Flycatcher – highlands of SE Mexico (S from E Oaxaca) S to N Nicaragua.
  • E. f. imperturbatus Wetmore, 1942 – Sierra de los Tuxtlas, in SE Veracruz (Mexico).
  • E. f. flavescens Lawrence, 1865 – Yellowish Flycatcher – highlands of Costa Rica and W Panama.
  • Descriptive notes

    12·5–14 cm; 12 g. Nominate race has indistinctly pale lores, prominent pale yellow teardrop-shaped eyering extending to point behind eye; crown olive-green, slightly... read more


    Call a high thin “seee”, “tseeep”, “tsee’n” or “see-ip”, much like that of E. occidentalis... read more


    Openings and borders of cool moist montane evergreen and broadleaf forests and mixed pine (... read more

    Food and feeding

    Food primarily insects and spiders, also some berries. Searches for prey from low to high perches; sits upright, flicks tail. Uses short... read more


    Mar–Jun in Costa Rica. Nest a cup made of moss, liverworts and rootlets, lined with fine plant fibres, grasses, hair and papery bark... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common to common. Given its tolerance of converted habitat, it is considered not likely to become threatened in near future. Occurs in Tapantí... read more

    Recommended citation

    Farnsworth, A., Lebbin, D. & de Juana, E. (2019). Yellowish Flycatcher (Empidonax flavescens). 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 11 December 2019).