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Acadian Flycatcher

Empidonax virescens

Length: 5.75 inches Wingspan: 8.75 inches Seasonality: Very rare visitor
ID Keys: Contrasting wing-bars, pale yellow eye ring, pale below, greenish upperparts.  Like other Empidonax Flycatchers, best ID'd by voice.

Acadian Flycatcher - Empidonax virescensThe Acadian Flycatcher is primarily a bird of the forests of the Southeastern United States. It is only known in South Dakota by historical records, and hasn't been officially identified in the state since 1922 (see SDOU's Birds of South Dakota). It is expanding its range to the north in recent decades, however, so it's possible it may again make an appearance in the state. Of all the very similar Empidonax flycatchers, the Acadian is the only one that regularly nests in the far southern part of the United States, a useful summer ID key in that part of the country.

Habitat: Generally breeds in moist deciduous forests, such as riparian areas and swamps, but can also be found in the understory of dryland forest. Winters in and around tropical forests.

Diet: Primarily feeds on insects. Will also eat spiders, millipedes and centipedes, and fruits and berries.

Behavior: Forages in typical flycatcher fashion, observing from a perch and flying out to catch insects in mid-air.  Courtship is often frenetic, with the male chasing the female in rapid aerial pursuit.

Interactive eBird Map: Click to access interactive eBird map for the Acadian Flycatcher

Song: A bold peet-shaaaa song, and a soft peet call. Click to listen to the Acadian Flycatcher's song, also the Acadian Flycatcher's call.

Migration: Summers throughout most of the eastern half of the United States, south of New York. Winters in South America.

Similar Species: Least Flycatcher, Willow Flycatcher, Alder Flycatcher

Conservation Status: Numbers are generally stable, and it may be expanding it's range in the northeastern United States.

Further Information: 1) USGS Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter, Acadian Flycatcher

2) Audubon - Acadian Flycatcher

3) WhatBird - Acadian Flycatcher

Photo Information: May 31st, 2005 - Butler County, Pennsylvania - Jake Dingel


Click on the map below for a higher-resolution view
Acadian Flycatcher - Range Map
South Dakota Status: Accidental Visitor, with no records since 1922