Alder Flycatcher

Alder Flycatcher Picture

An Alder Flycatcher is a fun bird to see while bird watching. Below are some tips to help you identify Alder Flycatchers. We have also put together a list of fun Alder Flycatcher t-shirts, Alder Flycatcher bird patches, birdhouses, bird feeders, binoculars, stickers, and other fun bird-watching items.

About Alder Flycatchers

Alder Flycatchers are insect-eating birds with relatively small bodies. Its similarities with the Willow Flycatcher make it almost different to distinguish between the two. Their song is the only distinct difference. The oldest Alder Flycatcher was above 9 years old.

Description and Identification

Alder Flycatchers are small birds that are 5.12-6.69 inches long with a wingspan of 8.3-9.4 inches. Their lower body is colored dull greenish-olive. The face is covered with white rings, and their crown is dark olive-green. Their white throat extends into a darker breast band. Alder Flycatchers have black wings with white wing bars. Younglings have brown upper parts and yellow underparts. These birds look extremely similar to Willow Flycatchers, and earlier they were both confused as the same species. Although various techniques have been formulated to correctly identify these birds, they are still very difficult to identify. The best chance to identify them is through their most common call, a clear “pip”. Alder Flycatchers have different calls that are associated with aggression or territorial behavior, these include “zwee-oo”, “wee-oo”, and “double-peak” calls. When excited they vocalize a “kitter” call. During migration, these birds are generally silent.

Alder Flycatcher Color Pattern

Alder Flycatchers have a round head with an olive-green color. It has two pale wing bars and white throat and a darker breast. There are white rings around its eyes. A wide and moderate bill accompanies its small head with a pink or orange lower mandible and a black upper mandible. It has a slightly darker olive-green crown as compared to its back.

Alder Flycatcher Size

Male and female Adler Flycatchers both are 13-17 centimeters in length. They are 12-14 grams in weight and have a 21-24 centimeter wingspan.

Alder Flycatcher Behavior

For birdwatchers, the Alder Flycatcher song is important in identifying it. They are agile songbirds with the ability to catch insects during flight and include fruits and seeds in their diet over the winter. Courtship displays are said to involve the male chasing the female around the trees and fields.

What Alder Flycatcher Eat

Insects make up a majority of the diet of Alder Flycatchers. They sally out to catch their prey, which they generally eat in midair. Sometimes they can also be spotted gleaning their prey while perched on a branch. Their prey includes sawflies, wasps, ants, beetles, bees, moths, and butterflies. During winter their diet also includes seeds and fruits. They mainly feed on small insects such as bees and ants. Over the winter they tend to feed on mostly fruits.

Where Alder Flycatchers Live

Alder Flycatchers can be spotted in brushy meadows, beaver ponds with emergent vegetation, and in the thicket of various trees such as alders, willows, maples, and buckthorns. While migrating Alder Flycatchers occupy humid habitats and semi-arid habitats with elevations up to 2500 feet. As it is extremely difficult to identify these birds, there is a lack of information about their wintering habitats, it is speculated that they prefer riparian habitats at lower elevations. They are permanent residents of wetlands being found in wet thickets and migrate to scrubby growth over the winter.

Range and Migration

Alder Flycatchers are tiny birds whose breeding range extends from Canada and Alaska to the extreme south of northeastern America. These migratory birds travel southwards passing through the Eastern U.S., Mexico, and Central America on their way to the West of South America.

Alder Flycatcher Lifecycle

The breeding season is done in thickets in wet areas, positioning its cup-shaped nest slightly above the ground. Females build the nest as the male vocalizes to defend the breeding territory. The female lays up to 4 eggs and incubates them for 12 to 14 days. Taking care of the young is done by both parents and the first flight by the chicks is after 14 days after hatching.


During the breeding season, Alder flycatchers vocalize to defend their breeding territory. As these birds have not been studied enough there is uncertainty about their courtship behavior, but it possibly involves males chasing females through the trees. Alder Flycatchers are monogamous in nature. These birds generally nest low in dense shrubbery. Their cup-shaped nests are bulky and untidy. Materials such as weeds, grass, small twigs, and pieces of bark are used to construct it. Females collect this plant material and build these nests on their own. Female Alder Flycatchers lay 3-4 eggs per breeding season. These eggs are creamy-white in color, with dark speckles at the larger ends of eggs. After 12-14 days of incubation, the hatched younglings are taken care of by both parents. 13-14 days after hatching, nestlings take their first flight.


Bird Watching Academy & Camp Subscription Boxes

At the Bird Watching Academy & Camp we help kids, youth, and adults get excited and involved in bird watching. We have several monthly subscription boxes that you can subscribe to. Our monthly subscription boxes help kids, youth, and adults learn about birds, bird watching, and bird conservation.

Bird Watching Binoculars for Identifying Alder Flycatchers

The most common types of bird-watching binoculars for viewing Alder Flycatchers are 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. Bird Watching Academy & Camp sells really nice 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. You can view and purchase them here.

Alder Flycatcher T-shirts

If you love the Alder Flycatcher you should purchase a Bird Watching Academy & Camp T-shirt. To help support bird conservation we donate 10 percent to bird conservation activities.

Alder Flycatcher Stickers

Stickers are a great way for you to display your love for bird watching and the Alder Flycatcher. We sell a monthly subscription sticker pack. The sticker packs have 12 bird stickers. These sticker packs will help your kids learn new birds every month.

Bird Feeders For Alder Flycatcher

There are many types of bird feeders. Bird feeders are a great addition to your backyard. Bird feeders will increase the chances of attracting birds drastically. Both kids and adults will have a great time watching birds eat at these bird feeders. There are a wide variety of bird feeders on the market and it is important to find the best fit for you and your backyard.

Best Bird Houses for Alder Flycatcher

There are many types of birdhouses. Building a birdhouse is always fun but can be frustrating. These 4 birdhouses have become our favorites. Getting a birdhouse for kids to watch birds grow is always fun. We spent a little extra money on these birdhouses but they have been worth the higher price and look great.

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