Fun Hammond's Flycatcher Facts For Kids

Iram Ashfaq
Nov 14, 2022 By Iram Ashfaq
Originally Published on Aug 17, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Discover the most interesting 15 Hammond's flycatcher facts.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.9 Min

The Hammond's flycatcher (Empidonax hammondii) is a striking bird from the family of flycatchers. The Hammond's flycatcher is a small, brightly-colored bird with blue and white plumage and known for its peculiar song. These birds are endemic to the North American continent, found in central North America as well as parts of eastern Canada from Quebec southward through Ontario and westwards into Michigan. These birds are given this name because of their habit of catching flies and other insects on their wings with quick snaps or flips. These tiny creatures can catch plenty of prey while flying. Their habitat ranges from dense forest understory up to open woodland near water sources such as lakes or streams. It also includes riparian corridors along riversides where trees provide thick cover during migration periods between wetland breeding grounds and arid northern summering spots for food resources like insects. It is a small bird and one of the most common flycatching birds in North America. They are often found around water sources, catching flies to eat.

The attribute of a Hammond's flycatcher that makes this species so unique is its auditory apparatus that allows this bird to hear different wavelengths that other animals their size cannot. That means they have access to sounds humans cannot detect because our hearing range does not cover those frequencies. The Hammond's flycatcher (Empidonax hammondii) is the smallest North American flycatcher, just barely reaching 4 in (10 cm) in length. Hammond's flycatcher (Empidonax hammondii) birds are the only North American birds to use their taisl for signaling. These signals consist of a light flick, flicking rapidly back and forth, or straight up in an arch pattern. The Hammond’s flycatcher is one of America’s more peculiar birds as it uses its long tail feathers like flags on high poles when courting.

For more relatable content, check out these bowerbird facts and frigate bird facts  for kids.

Hammond's Flycatcher Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Hammond's flycatcher?

The Hammond's dusky flycatcher (Empidonax hammondii) is one of the most prominent birds of North America.

What class of animal does a Hammond's flycatcher belong to?

This dusky flycatcher belongs to the class Aves like many other birds including the song thrush, order Passeriformes, family Tyrannidae, and genus Empidonax.

How many Hammond's flycatchers are there in the world?

There are 13 million Hammond's dusky and gray flycatcher birds in the world. You can find them all over western North America, South, and East Asia, and southern Canada in their breeding season just to name a few places.

Where does a Hammond's flycatcher live?

These beautiful little songbirds prefer living near water due to its bountiful supply of bugs and berry bushes it provides them with. This habitat provides them with sustenance for day-to-day life as well as nesting sites when looking for a location for the breeding season.

What is a Hammond's flycatcher's habitat?

These North American birds are native to North America, Mexico, and Canada. These birds of the order Passeriformes, family Tyrannidae, and genus Empidonax nest in tree holes or cavities and spend time hunting for small insects on branches close to the ground. Their habitat range varies depending on the breeding season of mature flycatchers.

Who do Hammond's flycatchers live with?

The dusky flycatcher lives close by with other birds like grosbeaks, golden orioles, warblers, and hermit thrushes who are all known as forest singers of early spring mornings.

How long does a Hammond's flycatcher live?

The average lifespan of a Hammond's bird is four years, but in captivity, they can live up to seven.

How do they reproduce?

The Hammond's bird has quite an interesting process behind how they reproduce. The male provides nesting materials like moss or grasses to his new home on top of a tree branch high above ground level while the female takes responsibility by laying three to four eggs during the breeding season in its habitat on the wintering grounds.

What is their conservation status?

The IUCN conservation status of this bird species is Least Concern for now. If nothing is done for the conservation of its habitats, it could soon be classified as a Near Threatened bird species.

Hammond's Flycatcher Fun Facts

What do Hammond's flycatchers look like?

The species of Hammond's dusky flycatchers are native birds of North America that also live in the western forests of Costa Rica, New York, and Panama. They have a black or gray head especially the female, olive-green body with two white wing bars on their wings as well as cinnamon-colored underwings. They have dark brown eyes that stand out against the greenback feathers which are speckled with yellow highlights to blend into leaves or mosses where they feed and perch to catch flying insects during late mornings through early evenings in their habitats. Young Hammond's flycatchers are small and have relatively short wings in comparison to mature birds. Young Hammond's flycatchers are small-to-medium-sized song birds with peculiar calls and dark brown feathers and black spots on their wings.

Hammond's Flycatcher

How cute are they?

Both young and mature birds of this species are absolutely gorgeous. Some believe the female species is prettier compared to the males. Whatever be the case, this bird species is living its best life deep in the forests within its habitats.

How do they communicate?

The Hammond's bird species is known for its colorful plumage and beautiful calls. Interestingly, they communicate with each other to find potential mates in the sky. This bird is known for its range of excitement and high energy. This bird species communicates with one another by singing, chattering, and squeaking, anything that will get the attention of a potential female. Males communicate for mating off in the forests during spring.

How big is a Hammond's flycatcher?

The mature flycatcher's species of the family Tyrannidae grow 4-5.5 in (12-14 cm) in length and have an average 8.5-9 in (22 cm) wingspan.

How fast can a Hammond's flycatcher move?

In a flash and without warning, the Hammond's flycatcher species can dart from one tree to another. When it does so its wings are open wide giving them an extra burst of speed that allows this bird to fly as fast as 12 mph (20 kph) on average or even up to 22 mph (40 kph) if it needs more time between forest trees for catching prey and returning back to its nest.

How much does a Hammond's flycatcher weigh?

The Hammond's flycatcher species weighs 0.01-0.02 lb (8-12 g), which makes it one of the smallest forests bird in North America and we should do everything we possibly can for its conservation by promoting its breeding.

What are the male and female names of the species?

Male and female birds of this species both go by the name flycatchers. Both species live in harmony in a shared nest within their habitat range, especially in spring during breeding.

What would you call a baby Hammond's flycatcher?

Babies of flycatchers are simply referred to as flycatcher chicks.

What do they eat?

The Hammond's flycatcher is a small, energetic bird with large yellow eyes and long tail feathers and lives in trees. These birds are mostly insectivorous eaters but will also dive headfirst into berries or butterflies if they see them on their way from one branch to another.

Are they dangerous?

No, these birds are not dangerous for humans. In fact, these birds always try hard to impress humans with a peculiar pleasant song in their habitat when they feel safe and secure.

Would they make a good pet?

It is a small bird that can be kept as a pet. Hammond's flycatchers are very social birds and will do better with other pets nearby or in the same room than they would alone.

Did you know...

The Hammond's flycatcher sound is very peculiar and easy to recognize even from distance.

The Hammond's flycatcher range depends on the migration time and where these song birds are going during migration. Irrespective of migration, their conservation should be taken seriously.

What is the difference between a dusky vs. Hammond's flycatcher?

Both Dusky flycatchers and Hammond's gray flycatchers are small, brown birds that spend their time in forests. However they differ slightly in coloration. For instance, a male dusky has more black than his cousin does while some females have red tints to their throats which may or may not be seen depending on if there is sunlight shining through.

How long does it take flycatcher eggs to hatch?

The range is about 11-14 days for eggs to hatch. This is a stark contrast from other birds such as chickens and ducks that sometimes require incubation by humans in order for their eggs to hatch successfully.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover!  Learn more about some other birds from our sea eagle facts and white gyrfalcon facts pages.

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

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Written by Iram Ashfaq

Bachelor of Dental Surgery, Master of Public Health

Iram Ashfaq picture

Iram AshfaqBachelor of Dental Surgery, Master of Public Health

With a Bachelor's degree in Dental Surgery from Shaney Institute of Health Sciences and a Master's degree in Public Health from Imperial College London, Iram is a highly qualified and accomplished writer from Srinagar, India. Over the course of a year, she has acquired multiple writing certifications, focusing on health sciences and research studies. Prior to joining Kidadl, Iram gained valuable experience working as a content writer for Indian firms and interning at a New York-based company. Her expertise and passion for writing shine through in her ability to create compelling content across a variety of topics.

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