Fun Dusky Flycatcher Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Dusky Flycatcher Facts For Kids

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Have you ever heard of a dusky flycatcher (Empidonax oberholseri)? A dusky flycatcher is a small passerine bird species that belong to the flycatcher family. They are insectivorous birds that are usually seen in southern Arizona, Washington, California, Texas, and Mexico. The genus Empidonax contains a number of species, and it isn't easy to differentiate between these species. They can be distinguished by their voice, range, and habitat. These birds are also known as the American dusky flycatcher and belong to the family of Tyrant Flycatchers.

Here are some interesting, engaging, and fun facts about the dusky flycatcher (Empidonax oberholseri) from the order Passeriformes, family Tyrannidae, and genus Empidonax which you will surely enjoy. Afterward, do check our other articles on the Cape starling and Gloster canary.

Fun Dusky Flycatcher Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Flying insects

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

2-5 eggs

How much do they weigh?

0.3-0.4 oz (0.008-0.01 kg)

How long are they?

5.1-6 in (12.9-15.2 cm)

How tall are they?

7.9-​9.1 in (20-23 cm) (wingspan)

What do they look like?

Gray upperparts with a hint of green, two wing bars, a white eye-ring, and a short tail

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Snakes, Birds Of Prey

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Thickets, Mountain Chaparral, Or Brushy Slopes, Shrubby Habitats


California, Mexico, Texas, British Columbia, Washington, Southern Arizona









Dusky Flycatcher Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a dusky flycatcher?

The dusky flycatcher (Empidonax oberholseri) is a small bird that belongs to the order Passeriformes, family Tyrannidae, and genus Empidonax. This songbird is also known as the American dusky flycatcher. These songbirds have many similarities with Haymond’s flycatcher, one of the popular birds of North America, but are a bit larger than them. These birds are insectivorous in terms of their diet and are migratory birds. Flycatchers are distinguished from other tyrant flycatchers based on the keys to identification like habitat range, appearance, and song. Other flycatchers in the Empidonax genus include the alder flycatcher and gray flycatcher.

What class of animal does a dusky flycatcher belong to?

The dusky flycatcher (Empidonax oberholseri) is a passerine bird that belongs to the order Passeriformes, family Tyrannidae, and genus Empidonax. The scientific name of these songbirds is Empidonax oberholsori. This species of flycatcher has several similarities in terms of appearance with Hammond’s Flycatcher and the American gray flycatchers but are, in fact, larger than Hammond’s Flycatcher and smaller than an American gray flycatcher.

How many dusky flycatchers are there in the world?

As per the breeding bird survey, the global estimate of the breeding population size of dusky flycatchers is around 8.8 million individuals across their natural habitat and breeding grounds in the mountains. They are abundant in population across their range of habitat, and hence their existence is of no concern at present. You can easily locate these birds in their natural habitats in the mountains living along with gray flycatchers with the help of a field guide and a range map.

Where does a dusky flycatcher live?

The dusky flycatcher lives mainly in open coniferous forests across North America. This Tyrant Flycatchers species can be found in its habitat range of southern Arizona, Mexico, Texas, British Columbia, California, and Washington in abundant numbers. They live for a short time in the deserts of southwestern United States as well. Like, gray flycatchers, the favorite diet for this bird species is flying insects.

What is a dusky flycatcher's habitat?

Dusky flycatcher habitats comprise dry, open coniferous forests with deciduous shrubs understory and thickets, like a gray flycatcher.  These birds of North America are also found along the streams and bushy areas as well as woodlands with brush and scattered trees of ponderosa pine across their natural habitat. These birds are passage migrants over the deserts as well, where they usually migrate during the nights. This species of flycatchers can also sometimes migrate to foothills.

Who do dusky flycatchers live with?

A dusky flycatcher can usually be found living as a pair at middle elevations in the mountains throughout Arizona, Mexico, Texas, British Columbia, and Washington. The migration of this bird species to the breeding grounds and wintering grounds usually takes place in the form of small groups but sometimes as pairs as well. The nest of these birds is in the shape of a small cup and is made of grass, animal hair, and a variety of plant materials.

How long does a dusky flycatcher live?

A dusky flycatcher has an average lifespan of around six years. The lifespan may vary depending on the surroundings.

How do they reproduce?

The nesting habits of these birds are similar to others in their genus. The breeding season for these songbirds starts with their arrival at the breeding grounds. After the pairs have been formed, males and females will engage in the mating process. After the mating process is over, the female dusky flycatcher lays around four eggs that are dull white in color. They are incubated by females for around 15 - 16 days. Young ones are fed insects by both the parents till they are ready to fledge. These birds brood once a year and build their nest, usually in deciduous shrubs located near trees on slopes or foothills.

What is their conservation status?

A dusky flycatcher is listed as a Least Concern species in the IUCN Red List. These birds of North America have a healthy population across the range of shrubby habitats, and the population is increasing. Hence, they do not face any threats.

Dusky Flycatcher Fun Facts

What do dusky flycatchers look like?

A dusky flycatcher is a small bird that belongs to the flycatcher family. The keys to identification are two white wing bars, olive-gray upperparts, and yellowish cream underparts. They have a dark bill and a short tail.

Dusky flycatchers intimidate intruders by spreading the tail, fluffing the plumage, and raising the crest.

How cute are they?

Dusky flycatchers are small birds that belong to the flycatcher family. They are insectivorous birds and are cute and innocent in appearance.

How do they communicate?

A dusky flycatcher uses its call to communicate with other birds. Their sounds have similarities with Hammond flycatchers. They make a series of chirp sounds and have a sharp whit.

How big is a dusky flycatcher?

A dusky flycatcher has a length of 5.1-6 in (12.9-15.2 cm) and a wingspan of 7.9-9.1 in (20-23 cm). They are a bit bigger than a Hammond’s flycatcher but smaller than an American gray flycatcher.

How fast can a dusky flycatcher fly?

Dusky flycatcher has a flying speed of around 37 mph (59.5 kph).

How much does a dusky flycatcher weigh?

On an average scale, an adult dusky flycatcher weighs around 0.3-0.4 oz (0.008-0.01 kg). They weigh three times more than a bee hummingbird.

What are the male and female names of the species?

As a dusky flycatcher is a bird, its species is E. oberholseri. Males and females are known as male dusky flycatchers and female dusky flycatchers.

What would you call a baby dusky flycatcher?

A baby dusky flycatcher is called a hatchling or a chick.

What do they eat?

Dusky flycatchers are carnivores (insectivores). They mainly feed on flying insects like grasshoppers, wasps, and so on. The main predators of dusky flycatchers are snakes and birds of prey.

Are they poisonous?

Dusky flycatchers are not poisonous and do not pose any threat to others.

Would they make a good pet?

A dusky flycatcher is not suitable for keeping as a pet. They are migratory birds and should not be kept as pets.

Did you know…

Dusky flycatchers sometimes hover near the foliage and bark while catching the insects. They pound on the prey at times on the ground.

While the dusky flycatcher looks quite similar to regular flycatchers, differences can be noted in terms of the size and color of the feathers.

Do dusky flycatchers migrate?

Yes, dusky flycatchers are migratory birds. They migrate in spring and fall (usually later in spring and earlier in fall than Hammond's Flycatcher). During migration, they pass through many habitats from brushy stream corridors and mountain chaparral.

How did dusky flycatchers get their name?

There is no exact information available as to how these birds got their name. It is generally believed that the reason behind their name is their overall appearance which is of a slightly dusky color.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these black-capped gnatcatcher facts and common kingfisher facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable dusky flycatcher coloring pages.

Written By
Kidadl Team

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