Overview

Distribution

Range

Breeds w North America; winters to Nicaragua.

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Geographic Range

Empidonax hammondii is most commonly found in the western parts of the United States and Canada. Empidonax hammondii or Hammond's flycatcher can be spotted from east-central Alaska all the way down to east-central California and north-central New Mexico. These birds live in mountain forests and prefer to live in closed canopy forests, where barely any light peaks through (Gillson 1997; The National Conservancy 1999).

Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Native )

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Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

E. hammondii on average range in height from 12.7-14.0 cm long. The male length is 14.0-14.6 cm with a wing size of 6.6-7.1 cm, a tail size of 5.8-6.4 cm, and a bill size of 1.3-1.5 cm. The female length is 13.3 cm with a wing size of 6.2-7.0 cm and a tail size of 5.5-6.1 cm. As youths, these birds are brownish colored with yellowish-brown wing bars. As adults, E. hammondii have grayish upper parts, whitish or yellowish wing bars, grayish throat, and a dark colored breast (Bailey 1920; Reader's Digest 1990).

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Type Information

Cotype for Empidonax hammondii
Catalog Number: USNM A10079
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Birds
Sex/Stage: Male; Adult
Preparation: Skin: Whole
Collector(s): J. Xantus
Locality: Fort Tejon, Kern, California, United States, North America
  • Cotype: Xantus. (Not Earlier Than May 25) 1858. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia. 10: 117.
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Source: National Museum of Natural History Collections

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Cotype for Empidonax hammondii
Catalog Number: USNM A10080
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Birds
Sex/Stage: Female; Adult
Preparation: Skin: Whole
Collector(s): J. Xantus
Locality: Fort Tejon, Kern, California, United States, North America
  • Cotype: Xantus. (Not Earlier Than May 25) 1858. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia. 10: 117.
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© Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Birds

Source: National Museum of Natural History Collections

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Ecology

Habitat

E. hammondii lives mostly in mature mountain forests. Large dense-canopy and open-understory forests are vital for this species to thrive (The Nature Conservancy 1999; Reader's Digest 1990).

Terrestrial Biomes: forest ; mountains

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Trophic Strategy

Food Habits

E. hammondii mainly eats insects such as ants and flying insects. They prefer to search for flying insects in the center parts of tall conifers and aspens. The types of flying insects they eat are beetles, moths, and flies. Mostly, E. hammondii sit and wait for an insect to be in sight and then quickly move in for the kill, their beaks opening and quickly snapping shut. They then return to where they sat to wait for the next insect (Bailey 1920; Gillson 1997; Reader's Digest 1990; USGS 1998).

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Life History and Behavior

Reproduction

Breeding season occurs between early June and late July. E. hammondii females have 3-4 whitish or yellowish eggs and incubate the eggs for 12-15 days. They nest in Douglas fir, ponderosa pine, western larch, tanoak, white fir, grand fir, aspen, birch, and maple. They prefer forest sites with clumps of tall conifers with well-developed canopies. The nest is a cup of bark, plant fibers, pine needles, and twigs that is built 6-60 ft. above the ground. The young leave the nest 17-18 days after hatching (Gillson 1997; The Nature Conservancy 1999; Reader's Digest 1990).

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Empidonax hammondii

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 5 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.  Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.  See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

TTTATACCTAATCTTTGGAGCTTGAGCCGGTATGATTGGTACCGCTTTAAGCCTCCTTATTCGAGCGGAACTCGGACAACCAGGAACCCTCTTAGGAGACGACCAAATCTACAATGTAATCGTCACTGCTCATGCCTTCGTAATAATCTTTTTTATAGTAATACCTATCATAATCGGGGGTTTCGGTAACTGACTAGTTCCTCTAATAATTGGCGCCCCTGACATAGCATTTCCTCGAATAAACAACATAAGTTTTTGACTTCTACCCCCATCATTTCTCCTGCTCCTAGCCTCCTCCACAGTCGAAGCTGGTGCAGGAACCGGATGAACAGTATATCCCCCATTAGCTGGTAACCTAGCACATGCTGGAGCTTCAGTAGACTTAGCCATTTTCTCCCTTCATCTGGCAGGAGTCTCTTCTATCCTAGGAGCTATTAACTTTATTACCACCGCAATTAATATAAAACCACCCGCTCTATCACAATACCAAACTCCTTTATTTGTGTGATCTGTCCTAATCACCGCAGTTCTCCTCCTTCTCTCCCTACCAGTTCTCGCTGCCGGTATCACTATACTATTAACAGACCGTAACCTAAACACTACATTCTTCGACCCCGCAGGAGGTGGAGACCCAGTGTTATATCAACATCTCTTCTGATTCTTTGGCCACCNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
-- end --

Download FASTA File
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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Empidonax hammondii

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 6
Specimens with Barcodes: 8
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

Cool, shady forests for nesting, roosting, and foraging are essential for keeping E. hammondii populations from extinction. This species is still commonly found in the Pacific Northwest. Timber harvest and fires can sometimes actually benefit Hammond's flycatcher if the forest understory is opened up while the canopy remains closed. The open understory spaces facilitate E. hammondii's flight. More research (e.g. on the effects of timber harvest) is needed about threats to the species (The Nature Conservancy 1999).

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

Unknown

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Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Empidonax hammondii are a forest insectivore and may be crucial in controlling forest insect populations (The Nature Conservancy 1999).

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Wikipedia

Hammond's flycatcher

Hammond's flycatcher, Empidonax hammondii is a small insect-eating bird. It is a small Empidonax flycatcher, with typical size ranging from 12.5-14.5 cm.

Adults have greyish-olive upperparts, darker on the wings and tail, with whitish underparts; they have a conspicuous white eye ring, white wing bars, a small bill and a short tail. The breast is washed with grey and the sides of the belly with yellow. Many species of Empidonax flycatchers look closely alike. The best way to distinguish species is by voice, breeding habitat and/or range.

Their preferred breeding habitat is coniferous forests in highlands of the western United States, Alaska and Canada. They make a cup nest on a fork in a tree, usually high in a horizontal branch. Females usually lay three or four eggs.

These birds migrate to Mexico and Central America for the winter.

They wait on an open perch high or in the middle of a tree and fly out to catch insects in flight, (hawking), also sometimes picking insects from foliage while hovering, (gleaning).

The song is a multi versed hoarse ssilit, greeep, silit, pweet. The call is a sharp peek.

The name of this bird commemorates William Alexander Hammond who was the surgeon general of the US Army. Hammond collected bird specimens for Spencer Fullerton Baird.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Empidonax hammondii". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael (2003). Whose Bird? Men and Women Commemorated in the Common Names of Birds. London: Christopher Helm. p. 156. 
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