Olive-sided Flycatcher  ( Moucherolle à côtés olive )  This species is of special interest to Timiskaming birders.    All sightings should be documented and reported.

Back to Checklist

Contopus cooperi

Description:    Olive-sided Flycatcher
Photo Date:   August 17, 2007


Kap-Kig-Iwan Provincial Park, Evanturel Township


Michael Werner

General Notes

The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) designated this species as Threatened in November of 2007. This songbird has shown a widespread and consistent population decline over the last 30 years; the Canadian population is estimated to have declined by 79% from 1968 to 2006 and 29% from 1996-2006. Similar to some other recently assessed birds that feed on flying insects and winter in South America, the cause of the decline is unclear, and there is no evidence that the decline has ceased.

The Olive-sided Flycatcher is another long distance migrant, commuting annually between the northern boreal forest and the the tropics. It is a relatively late migrant, seldom arriving on breeding grounds before late May. It also nests later than most songbirds. Eggs are often not hatched until mid-July, and young are rarely fledged before the end of July.

It tends to forage high, sallying forth from snags and treetops.  The song, often phrased as "Quick, three beers!", is distinctive.

Semi-open coniferous or mixed forest near water is the breeding habitat most often selected, often in wetlands with standing dead conifers. Spruce or tamarack bogs, forested edges of ponds or rivers, and burned areas are favorite nest sites.

Abundance: Occasional Earliest observed date:  

Typical arrival date:

May 20
Breeding Status: Breeding Latest observed date:  

Typical departure date:

August 22

Documented Observations



May 27-28, June 20-22, 1997. One observed at Hilliardton Marsh during field work for a Master's thesis by David Locky.

June 3, 1998. One observed at Mountain Chutes Camp by Barry Kinch.

August 17, 2007. One observed and photographed along the river in Kap-Kig-Iwan Prov. Park by Michael Werner.