Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Yellow-bellied flycatcher

Empidonax flaviventris

Common name:
yellow-bellied flycatcher (en); papa-moscas-de-barriga-amarela (pt); moucherolle à ventre jaune (fr); mosquero ventriamarillo (es); birkenschnäppertyrann (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Tyrannidae

This species breeds across southern and eastern Canada and in the north-eastern United States. They migrate south Mexico and Central America.

The yellow-bellied flycatcher is 13-15 cm long and has a wingspan of 18-20 cm. They weigh 9-16 g.

These birds breed in boreal coniferous forests and peatlands, preferring cool, moist forests, bogs, swamps and muskegs. They winter in a wide range of habitats, from forests to semi-open habitats, being the most common in dense rain forests, mountain evergreen forests, pine-oak forests and shaded coffee plantations.

They mostly eat insects and spiders, which they catch either in flight or hovering over foliage. They sometimes eat berries or seeds.

The yellow-bellied flycatcher breeds in May-August. They nest near or on the ground, with the female building a cup alone, using sphagnum moss, lined with rootlets, pine needles, or grass stems. There the female lays 2-5 white eggs with small blotches of brown. The female incubates the eggs alone for 15 days. The chicks are tended by both parents while in the nest and fledge 13 days after hatching.

IUCN status - LC (Least concern)
With a global population of 6 million and a very large breeding range, this species has undergone a slight increase over the last few decades and is thus not considered threatened at present.

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