Hammonds flycatcher

Empidonax hammondii

SUBFAMILY

Fluvicolinae

TAXONOMY

Empidonax hammondii Xantus, 1858. Monotypic. OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Moucherolle de Hammond; German: Tannentyrann; Spanish: Mosqueta de Hammond.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

5.5 in (14 cm). Small bird with large head and short tail. Plumage includes gray head, white eye ring, grayish olive back, dark gray wings and tail, whitish wing bars, gray or olive tint on the breast and sides, and belly washed with pale yellow. Bill is narrow and short. Base of lower mandible is pale orange. Keeps a fairly horizontal stance while perching.

DISTRIBUTION

Summer resident in southeastern Alaska, western Canada, northwestern United States, and Rocky Mountains. Winters throughout Latin America.

HABITAT

Inhabits wide range of forest types, but prefers coniferous forest at higher elevations than other Empidonax flycatchers.

BEHAVIOR

Active bird, frequently flicking tail and wings while perched. Can be silent for long periods; when vocal, call is a low, rapid "sill-it!" or "chip-it!", also a low, rough "greep!" or "pweet!" Migratory.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Eats flying insects. Perches high to spot prey, hawks in midair, and returns to same perch. Also gleans insects from foliage.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

A shallow, cup-shaped nest is built by the female, who incubates one clutch of three to four eggs once per year. Breeding is monogamous.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened. Habitat vulnerable to deforestation of high-elevation conifers.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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