YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER – (Empidonax flaviventris)
The Yellow-bellied Flycatcher as its name indicates has yellowish under parts with grey flanks. The upper parts are grey-olive and the wings black with two narrow white bars. The narrow and pointed bill is grey on top and reddish under, and the legs are grey. This flycatcher has an eye ring. It measures around 12 cm (5 in.) long.
The Latin name ‘Empidonax’ comes from ancient Greek and roughly translates for ‘king of the gnats’, in reference to the main staple of the birds diet. The name ‘flaviventris’ means ‘yellow belly’.
As is typical of flycatchers, this one waits for an insect to fly by while perched on top of a tree or pole, then catches it on the fly and goes back to its perch. They stand upright while perched.
Its main habitat is the humid coniferous forest of Canada. It is a latecomer from migration. It eats mostly insects and spiders, and also seeds and berries. The yellow-bellied flycatcher builds its nest on the ground in a sheltered location.
The yellow-bellied flycatcher breeds on PEI, and is fairly common in the summer. It is uncommon in the spring and fall however. Its breeding range includes most of the boreal Canadian forest and the north east part of the USA, and it will winter in Mexico and Central America. Its population appears stable.