The genus Empidonax is a group of small insect-eating passerine birds in the tyrant flycatcher family, the Tyrannidae. The genus name Empidonax is from Ancient Greek empis, "gnat", and anax, "master".[1]

Alder Flycatcher From The Crossley ID Guide Eastern Birds.jpg
Alder flycatchers, Empidonax alnorum
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Tyrannidae
Genus: Empidonax
Cabanis, 1855

See text

Most of these birds are very similar in plumage: olive on the upper parts with light underparts, eye rings and wing bars. In the nesting season they may be distinguished by range, habitat and call; in other situations, particularly on migration and in winter, it may not be possible to be sure of specific identification.

Empidonax flycatchers often flick their wings and tails rapidly.

Euler's flycatcher, Lathrotriccus euleri and gray-breasted flycatcher, Lathrotriccus griseipectus were formerly placed in Empidonax, but differ anatomically and biochemically and are now placed in the genus Lathrotriccus.


The genus contains 15 species:[2]

Image Scientific name Common Name Distribution
  Empidonax flaviventris Yellow-bellied flycatcher North American, Mexico and Central America
  Empidonax virescens Acadian flycatcher eastern United States and southwestern Ontario, eastern Mexico and the Caribbean to southern Central America and the very northwest of South America in Colombia, western Venezuela, and Ecuador
  Empidonax alnorum Alder flycatcher Canada and Alaska, descending to a southernmost point in the northeastern United States
  Empidonax traillii Willow flycatcher United States and southern Canada
  Empidonax albigularis White-throated flycatcher Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Panama.
  Empidonax minimus Least flycatcher eastern North America
  Empidonax hammondii Hammond's flycatcher western United States, Alaska and Canada
  Empidonax wrightii American grey flycatcher western North America, especially the Great Basin.
  Empidonax oberholseri American dusky flycatcher southern Arizona and Mexico
  Empidonax affinis Pine flycatcher Mexico and southwestern Guatemala.
  Empidonax difficilis Pacific-slope flycatcher western North America, including the Pacific Ocean and the southern Gulf of California
  Empidonax occidentalis Cordilleran flycatcher California to Alaska
  Empidonax flavescens Yellowish flycatcher southeastern Mexico south to western Panama.
  Empidonax fulvifrons Buff-breasted flycatcher United States through Mexico to southern Honduras.
  Empidonax atriceps Black-capped flycatcher Costa Rica and western Panama.


  1. ^ Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 146. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  2. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2019). "Tyrant flycatchers". World Bird List Version 9.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 29 June 2019.

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