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Dusky Flycatcher - BirdForum Opus

Alternative name: American Dusky Flycatcher
Disambiguation: For African Dusky Flycatcher (Muscicapa adusta) see African Dusky Flycatcher

Photo by Forcreeks
Cabin Lake, Oregon, USA, 07 July 2005
Empidonax oberholseri


13-15.2 cm, 9.3-11.4 g
Back gray with slight olive tinge; breast buffy, with light throat; belly very pale yellow. Narrow white eye ring and white wing bars; long tail.

Photo by Joseph Morlan
East Palo Alto, California, USA, 04 December 2020

Similar species

Hammond's Flycatcher differs most obviously in its longer primary projection, also slightly darker breast and smaller bill; although usually seen in tall conifers, on migration Hammond's can occur with Dusky in lower scrub. Gray Flycatcher has longer bill with dark tip. Gray dips tail down like a phoebe while Dusky pumps tail up.

Likely to overlap with Acadian Flycatcher, Alder Flycatcher, Buff-breasted Flycatcher, Cordilleran Flycatcher, Gray Flycatcher, Hammond's Flycatcher, Least Flycatcher, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Pine Flycatcher, White-throated Flycatcher, Willow Flycatcher, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Yellowish Flycatcher.

See also Empidonax.


North and Central America
Breeds western North America from central British Columbia south to California, Arizona and New Mexico; winters to southern Mexico.

Approximate distribution map. From Xeno canto / NatureServe data at file date (from Xeno Canto)


Formerly sometimes treated as a subspecies of Gray Flycatcher as E. wrightii oberholseri, though the two are not particularly closely related within the genus [2].


Clements regards this as a monotypic species [1].


Scrub, brushland, thickets, open low coniferous forests, and mountain chaparral. Unlike Hammond's Flycatcher, not in tall, dense conifers except at the edges of open areas or where where tree spacing is more open.



The diet includes insects.


The nest is cupshaped.


  1. Clements, JF. 2011. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to August 2011. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/downloadable-clements-checklist
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliot, and D Christie, eds. 2004. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 9: Cotingas to Pipits and Wagtails. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334696
  3. Avibase
  4. All About Birds

Recommended Citation

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