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Olive-sided flycatcher, Contopus cooperi

We do not have a picture available for the Olive-sided flycatcher so this is my drawing. This bird is quite funny looking. Its head seems disproportionately large for the rest of its body. It can often be heard singing Quick-three-beers for miles around because of its location high above the forest.

Migration of the olive-sided flycatcher

The Olive-sided flycatcher spends its winters in South America. There has been some decline in population do mainly to the destruction of wintering habitat in the Andes. South America is believed to be the original home of the species. For some reason it has decided to come and visit us in the spring.

The Olive-sided flycatcher likes moist meadows and streams.Diet of the Olive-sided flycatcher

The Olive-sided flycatcher usually perches on the highest tree around. It flies over the top of the forest or over neighboring meadows gulping up insects. Their favorite insects to feed on are honey bees.

Nesting habitats used by the Olive sided flycatcher

The Olive-sided flycatcher nests in conifers usually in close proximity to moist areas, usually far out on a limb.

How to attract the Olive-sided flycatcher to your garden

To attract the Olive-sided flycatcher to your garden you need lots of insects especially bees. You also need some conifers for perching and nesting. If there are some near your home those will probably do.

The Olive-sided flycatcher likes riparian plant communities.Range of the Olive-sided flycatcher:

Found in most of California excepting the central valley and desert.

Habitat/Plant community used by the Olive-sided flycatcher

The Olive-sided flycatcher likes forested areas with neighboring moist areas, such as meadows. They like to perch on dead branches of live trees or snags.

Click on these plant community links to learn more about specific plant material and climates.

The Olive-sided flycatcher likes moist forests.Redwood forest

Red Fir forest

Douglas Fir forest

Lodgepole Pine forest

Sub-Alpine Forest

Northern coastal coniferous forest (sorry no link)

Yellow Pine forest


Mountain meadow

Niche filled by the Olive-sided flycatcher

The Olive-sided flycatcher utilizes the top of the forest as well as meadow areas.

Learn more about California's flora from our front page.

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Edited on Jun 14, 2012. Authors:
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