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The olive-sided flycatcher (Contopus cooperi) is a passerine bird. It is a medium-sized tyrant flycatcher.

Olive-sided flycatcher
Olive-sided Flycatcher.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Tyrannidae
Genus: Contopus
C. cooperi
Binomial name
Contopus cooperi
(Swainson, 1832)
Contopus cooperi map.svg



Adults are dark olive on the face, upperparts and flanks. They have light underparts, a large dark bill and a short tail.

The song is a whistled quick-three beers. The call is a rapid pip pip pip.


Contopus borealis is a junior synonym of Contopus cooperi, according to the 1997 AOU checklist, quoted by BISON. The name of this species is listed as Contopus borealis in many older guides.

Distribution and habitatEdit

Their breeding habitat is coniferous woods across Canada, Alaska and the northeastern and western United States, and other types of wooded area in California. Olive-sided flycatchers are abundant in early postfire landscapes that have burned at high severity.

These birds migrate to Central America and the Andes region of South America.



They wait on a perch at the top of a tree and fly out to catch insects in flight.


The female usually lays three eggs in a shallow open cup nest on a horizontal tree branch. The male defends a large area around the nesting territory. Both parents feed the young birds.

Flight peculiaritiesEdit

The flight of this bird is peculiar. It makes a kind of vertical free fall after climbing into the air ending in singing with the head lifted up (see impression on pictures)

Contopus cooperi Costa Rica (Volcan Barva)
Contopus cooperi flight end

Status and conservationEdit

The numbers of this bird are declining, probably due to loss of habitat in its winter range.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Contopus cooperi". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.

Further readingEdit

  • Willis, E.O.; Snow, D.W.; Stotz, D.F. & Parker III, T.A. (1993) Olive-sided Flycatchers in Southeastern Brazil Wilson Bulletin 105(1):

External linksEdit