Olive-sided Flycatcher

Olive-sided Flycatcher

Olive-sided Flycatcher
(Contopus cooperi)

Order:  Passeriformes
Family:  Tyrannidae

Photo © Martha Marks

Olive-sided Flycatcher Information

Length:  7.5"

Habitat:  Nests most often in northern and mountainous forests. Prefers forest edges, forest openings, or open woodlands. Also found along wooded edges of ponds and lakes, as well as bogs and streams.

Diet:  Almost entirely flying insects such as wasps, bees, and winged ants. Also grasshoppers, beetles, and dragonflies.

  Song and calls of Olive-sided Flycatcher

Additional Information

Olive-sided Flycatcher
Habitat, diet, feeding behavior, description, voice, nesting, range, migration, and breeding.. Includes a photo and sounds. (From Boreal Birds)

Olive-sided Flycatcher

Olive-sided Flycatcher

© Mike Danzenbaker

Olive-sided Flycatcher
Identification Tips

  • Large, triangular head
  • Dark face with indistinct eye ring
  • Fairly large, dark bill
  • Dark olive upperparts and sides
  • White throat, center of breast, belly and undertail coverts
  • White wing bars
  • White rump feathers sometimes protrude over top of wings
  • Juveniles have somewhat browner upperparts
  • Often perches at the very top of a dead snag
  • Commonly feeds by flying out to catch insects and returning to same perch

Similar Species
The Olive-sided Flycatcher is similar to pewees but has darker sides, larger bill, and white patches above the wings (not always visible). Empidonax flycatchers are much smaller.

(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)

Breeding Bird Survey Map,

(Image credit: USGS)

Range in New England

The Olive-sided Flycatcher breeds throughout most of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, excluding the southernmost portion of these states.

This flycatcher also breeds in central and western Massachusetts and northwestern Connecticut.

The Olive-sided Flycatcher winters primarily in South America. This bird is also found wintering, though less commonly, in southern Mexico and Central America.

Winter Map from eBird

Sightings of the Olive-sided Flycatcher from Nov-Mar over past 10 years (2009-2019)