occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Type of Residency: Breeding
Global Range: BREEDING: east-central and southeastern Arizona, west-central New Mexico (formerly), south through Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador to central Honduras. NON-BREEDING: Sonora and Chihuahua south through breeding range.
Length: 13 cm
Weight: 8 grams
Habitat and Ecology
Comments: Pine, pine-oak association and riparian woodland, in winter occasionally in open deciduous woodland (Subtropical and lower Temperate zones, in winter casually to Tropical Zone) (AOU 1983). BREEDING: Nests on branch or against trunk of tree, usually 3-14 m above ground. Nests at lower elevations than other EMPIDONAX flycatchers in southwestern U.S.
Non-Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species do not make significant seasonal migrations. Juvenile dispersal is not considered a migration.
Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).
Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.
Breeding populations in northern part of range move south for winter.
Comments: Flys out from perch and catches insects in the air or under leaves. Also forages in bushes and under trees. Consumes beetles, bugs, grasshoppers, ants, etc. (Bent 1942).
Life History and Behavior
Clutch size 3-4. Nests in loose colonies.
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Empidonax fulvifrons
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.
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Download FASTA File
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Empidonax fulvifrons
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: N1B - Critically Imperiled
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure
Adults have olive gray upper bodies, darker coloration on the wings and tail, conspicuous white eye rings, white wing bars, small bills, and short tails. The breast of this species is distinctive, washed with a strong orange buff color.
Their preferred breeding habitat is scrub and open woodlands. They usually make a cup nest in the forks of trees. Females usually lay two eggs at a time.
These birds are partial migrants, retreating from their northern breeding areas in the United States and northern Mexico for the winter.
To feed, they often wait on an open perch of a shrub or low branch of a tree and fly out to catch insects in flight. They also sometimes pick insects from foliage while hovering.
The song is an alternating versed PIdew, piDEW. The call is a loud dry pit.
Various subspecies are recognized:
- Empidonax fulvifrons pygmaeus Coues, 1865 (northern buff-breasted flycatcher or fulvous flycatcher)
- Empidonax fulvifrons fulvifrons (Giraud, 1841)
- Empidonax fulvifrons rubicundus Cabanis & Heine, 1859
- Empidonax fulvifrons brodkorbi Phillips, AR, 1966
- Empidonax fulvifrons fusciceps Nelson, 1904
- Empidonax fulvifrons inexpectatus Griscom, 1932