Alder Flycatcher  ( Moucherolle des aulnes )

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Empidonax alnorum

Description:   Alder Flycatcher on branch over Englehart River
Photo Date:   August 18, 2007


Kap-Kig-Iwan Provincial Park


Michael Werner

General Notes

In 1973 the American Ornithological Union ruled that the bird known as Traill's Flycatcher would henceforth be divided into two species: the Alder and the Willow. What this does is to divide the Traill's on a geographical and call basis. The Willow Flycatcher, with its distinctive fitz-bew, is the more southerly and western bird, being known in southern British Columbia, extreme southern Ontario and southward through the United States. The Alder is the more northern species, with a vast breeding range extending in an arc across northern Canada from Alaska and the mouth of the Mackenzie River, south to Hudson Bay, and the Maritimes. It is the only one of the two that we have here in Timiskaming.

In winter it moves to Central and South America. The Alder Flycatcher chooses swampy areas near a stream where alder, willow and shrubs grow in profusion. In some areas it will settle for a drier habitat of old pasture, overgrown with shrubs. The nests are unusual, differing from those of most birds, and are loosely woven with a mass of hanging grass. They are built close to the ground in a low bush, but usually straddling a crotch in a branch. The Alder will sometimes nest in a clump of ferns. The voice is rasping and slurred, the call a hoarse fee-bee-o.

Abundance: Common Earliest observed date:  

Typical arrival date:

May 16
Breeding Status: Breeding Latest observed date:  

Typical departure date:

August 29


Banding Results






1996   9   9
1997   15   15
1998   30   30
1999   49   49
2000   88 1 89
2001   18   18
2002   41 1 42
2003   35   35
2004   58 1 59
2005   45   45
2006   73 1 74
2007   55   55