Olive-Sided Flycatcher

Contopus cooperi
Range Map

We usually see the Olive-Sided Flycatcher while perched at or near the top of a tall tree or snag. Mid or low canopy perches for foraging are not common for these birds, though I have found them in such places on my explorations.

These birds breed across most of the western USA, Canada, Alaska and in the Appalachian Range. When the breeding season is over, these birds fly south. Some birds land in southern Mexico and northern Central America, while most continue on to northern South America and the Amazon basin.

Modern science calls out two subspecies of Olive-Sided Flycatcher:

  • C. c. cooperi breeds from western Alaska east to the Canadian Maritime Provinces, south through the Cascades and Sierra Nevada ranges to central California, through the Rocky Mountains into northern Arizona and New Mexico. Some birds settle through the Appalachians to western North Carolina.
  • C. c. majorinus breeds in mountains of southern California and northern Baja California (Mexico).

All my meetings with Olive-Sided Flycatchers have come in the upper elevations of the Peninsular Ranges of Southern California.

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