Acadian Flycatcher

Acadian flycatchers are small insectivorous songbirds found in North America. All members of its genus were considered to be a single species before further research revealed that all of them had distinct calls, range, and habitats.

Scientific Classification

Empidonax virescens

Table Of Content

Scientific Classification

Empidonax virescens

Acadian Flycatcher

Physical Description

Size: Acadian flycatchers are small in size, about 5.1-5.9 inches (13-15 cm).

Weight: They usually weigh around 0.39-0.49 oz (11-14 g).

Color: This bird is mostly olive with a white to a yellowish belly and flanks. There are usually two white bars on the wings, black upper beak and a yellowish to pink lower one. They also have a thin white ring around each eye. Juveniles are more brownish than adults, and their wing bars are a dark buff.


They can be found across the eastern United States and southwestern Ontario. They migrate to southern Central America and northern South America through the Caribbean and eastern Mexico.


They mainly live in deciduous forests near bodies of water.


  • They are a migratory bird.
  • They become social during the breeding season.
  • When Acadian flycatchers want to bathe themselves, they dive into the water before returning to their perches to shake the water off and preen themselves.
  • They make a hammock or cup-shaped nests on the forks of branches of trees and shrubs.

Acadian Flycatcher Nest

Acadian Flycatcher Images


They primarily eat insects like flies, mosquitoes, moths, flying ants, small beetles, and spiders. They employ a technique called hawking where they sit and wait on a perch before flying out and taking an insect in mid-flight. They also sometimes catch insects from foliage while they hover. Acadian flycatchers may also eat seeds and berries.

Mating & Reproduction

Acadian flycatchers are monogamous, and the pairs usually return to the same nesting sites for multiple seasons. The breeding season usually falls between May and August. Females have up to two broods per season, with each brood producing 2-4 eggs. The incubation period lasts for about 2 weeks.


The hatchlings are born helpless and are looked after by the parents. They usually fledge after around 15 days, after which, if the mother starts to incubate another clutch, the fledglings become the responsibility of the father, but if the mother is free, then both parents keep on caring for them for another 12 days.

They become sexually mature at around 1 year of age.

Acadian Flycatcher Babies

Acadian Flycatcher Eggs


The oldest recorded Acadian flycatcher was reportedly 10 years 11 months.

Sounds & Communication

Being songbirds, they have a distinct ‘peet-sah’ and ‘tee-chup’. Males use songs to demarcate their territory. Their songs vary depending on the time of the day.


  • Their wings and small size make them excellent fliers, being able to maneuver in flight without much effort. They can also hover and fly backward.

Acadian Flycatcher Pictures

Acadian Flycatcher Bird


They fall prey to various birds of prey like hawks, crows, cuckoos, owls, and blue jays. Rat snakes, cats, squirrels, mice, and chipmunks also take the Acadian flycatcher.

IUCN Conservation Status

IUCN lists the Acadian flycatcher under their ‘Least Concern’ category.

Interesting Facts

  • Brown-headed cowbirds are known brood parasites of the Acadian flycatcher, but only 16% of its young fledge.
  • There are no more Acadian flycatchers in Acadia, which is part of present-day Nova Scotia.

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