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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Hammond's Flycatcher -- Empidonax hammondii


RANGE: Breeds from east-central Alaska, southern Yukon, and southwestern Alberta to northwestern Wyoming, south to east-central California, central Utah, northeastern Arizona, and north-central New Mexico. Winters in southeastern Arizona, Mexico, and Central America, casually in southern California.

STATUS: Common.

HABITAT: Inhabits tall, moist, closed-canopy montane conifer forests, sometimes with a deciduous understory. In Colorado, occurs from 7,500 to 11,000 feet in conifer-aspen woodlands; in California, in mature forests of medium to high canopy coverage from ponderosa pine up to lodgepole pine forests. In the far North, prefers deciduous forests.

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Nest sites that are cool and well shaded.

NEST: Nests in a fork of a small tree or on a horizontal branch of a large conifer or deciduous tree, usually 25 to 40 feet above the ground. Uses birch, maple, ponderosa pine, western larch, and Douglas-fir for nesting.

FOOD: Prefers to forage from the middle portions of tall conifers and aspens on flying insects.

REFERENCES: Bailey in Farrand 1983b, Beaver and Baldwin 1975, Davis 1954, Terres 1980, Verner and Boss 1980.


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