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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Dusky Flycatcher -- Empidonax oberholseri


RANGE: Breeds from southwestern Yukon, southern Alberta, southwestern Saskatchewan, and western South Dakota south to southern California, southern Nevada, central Arizona, and central and northeastern New Mexico. Winters in southern Arizona and Mexico; casual in southern California.

STATUS: Common.

HABITAT: Prefers shrubby sites or low- to intermediate-density forests with substantial shrub understory; generally avoids forests with a high percentage of canopy cover. Occurs in a variety of habitats, from montane chaparral to moderately dense lodgepole pine forest, including many montane conifer types and aspen; especially favors mixed woodlands or edge of small conifers and brush. In general, prefers drier, more open or patchier forests than Hammond's flycatcher.

NEST: Builds nests on upright or pendant twigs or in crotches of low shrubs or trees in relatively dry sites. Usually nests 3 to 8 feet, but up to 40 feet, above the ground in willow, alder, aspen, and other trees and shrubs.

FOOD: Forages low over shrubby vegetation for flying insects.

REFERENCES: Bailey in Farrand 1983b, Harrison 1979, Johnsgard 1979, Verner and Boss 1980.


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