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Hammond's Flycatcher

Empidonax hammondii

Length: 5.5 inches Wingspan: 8.75 inches Seasonality: Extremely rare visitor
ID Keys: Extremely similar to Dusky Flycatcher.  Tiny dark bill, 2 white wing-bars, eye-ring, notched tail.

Hammond's Flycatcher - Empidonax hammondiiThe Hammond's Flycatcher is one of the very similar Empidonax flycatchers, and can be quite difficult to tell apart from it's close relatives, especially the Dusky Flycatcher.  The Hammond's even has the same general geographic distribution as the Dusky Flycatcher, but while that species is typically found in low brush and chaparral, the Hammond's Flycatcher is typically found high in conifer stands, typically at higher elevations.

Habitat: Typically found at higher elevation conifer forests, often where conifers mix with deciduous trees such as aspens.  Uses mountain woods on its wintering grounds, but typically deciduous forests. 

Diet: Feeds exclusively on insects, including caterpillars, moths, beetles, bees, wasps, and other small insects.

Behavior: Forages in typical flycatcher fashion, observing from a perch, and then flying out to snag insects when spotted, returning to its perch to consume them.  They will capture flying insects in mid-air, or will glean insects from branches or the foliage. 

Nesting: Nests at mid to high heights in trees, typically conifers, but sometimes aspen.    

Breeding Map: Non-breeder in South Dakota

Song: Has a three-phrase song, typically beginning with a si-tik, then tsvi-vik with the first syllable higher, and ending with a lower and gruff rrrrr-vik.

Migration: Summers in the mountains of western North America, from New Mexico up through Canada and into Alaska.  Winters in Mexico and Central America.

Interactive eBird Map: Click here to access an interactive eBird map of Hammond's Flycatcher sightings

Similar Species: Dusky Flycatcher, Gray Flycatcher

Conservation Status: Widespread and common, with no conservation concerns at this time.

Further Information: 1) Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter: Hammond's Flycatcher

2) Hammond's Flycatcher

3) Audubon Guide - Hammond's Flycatcher

Photo Information:  January 7th, 2009 - Colomos, Guadalajar, JA, Mexico - Pablo Leautaud - Photo licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic license.


Click on the map below for a higher-resolution view
Hammond's Flycatcher - Range Map
South Dakota Status: Status in South Dakota is "hypothetical", meaning no sightings have been confirmed in the state, but rare or future presence may be expected.

Additional Hammond's Flycatcher Photos -- Coming Soon!