Olive-sided Flycatcher

Hey guys, welcome back. Ahhh, the world of flycatchers. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, flycatchers are tricky. Luckily, today’s flycatcher is one of the easier ones to ID. The olive-sided flycatcher most closely resembles the wood-pewee, and is actually the largest member of the pewee family. They are mostly gray birds, and don’t look all that olive to me, but they certainly aren’t the only bird with a somewhat misleading name. As mentioned, the olive-sided flycatcher is mostly gray, and has a whitish throat. It’s flanks have a dark, distinct gray color, as if they were wearing a vest, which is the main identifying field mark.

The olive-sided flycatcher is found throughout the US during summer months. However, I discovered an interesting thing that isn’t really related to the bird itself. When I looked up the range, I checked Cornell’s allaboutbirds.org and it showed they weren’t found in Ohio, Mo, or NYC (the three places I’ve seen one.) Then I checked in my Sibley guide, and it showed they were. So I went to Audubon’s site. It does show them as being found throughout the US, but in the east they are “uncommon.”  That does track. Although I’ve seen these birds in Missouri, New York, and Ohio, I’ve actually only seen 4 birds total. My first was while working in Central Park. My section of the park was the northern section. Everything above 96th St. One day I was walking past the Blockhouse, an old War of 1812 fortification at the north end of the park, when I looked up, and there it was! Forest Park in St. Louis had one hanging out across from the St. Louis Zoo, and the others were seen last fall here in Ohio. Always a welcome sighting because of their relative scarcity, compared to their pewee cousins that seem to be all over the place! Next up, a bird I’ve only seen in Ohio; the bank swallow. See you then!

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