Least Flycatcher

The Least Flycatcher: A Tiny Bird with a Mighty Voice

The Least Flycatcher (Empidonax minimus) is a small bird that belongs to the Tyrant Flycatcher family. Its small size and dull plumage may make it easy to overlook, but don’t be fooled by its appearance – this little bird has a mighty voice.

Basic Description:

The Least Flycatcher measures about 5 inches in length, with a wingspan of approximately 8 inches. It has olive-grey upperparts and whitish underparts, with two white wing bars and a conspicuous eye-ring. The bill is short and pointed, which helps the flycatcher catch insects on the fly. Males have slightly darker plumage than females.

Where To Find This Bird:

During breeding season (May through August), you can find the Least Flycatcher in Canada and northern parts of the United States – from Alaska to Maine, as well as in some mountainous areas further south. During migration season (April-May and August-September), they can be found throughout most of North America.


The Least Flycatchers breed mainly in deciduous forests dominated by poplar or birch trees that grow near water sources such as rivers or wetlands. However, they are also known to inhabit shrubby fields during their migration period.


As its name suggests, this bird feeds primarily on flying insects such as flies, mosquitoes, beetles, wasps, bees and ants which it catches mid-air using its sharp eyesight while perching on branches or twigs along tree lines near open spaces like meadows or lakeshores where prey is abundant.

Cool Facts:

Despite being one of the smallest birds in North America’s woodlands where it lives habitats vary depending on what time of year! In winter months these tiny creatures prefer brushy areas around edge habitat for better access both food sources shelter from harsh weather. They are also known for their unique vocalizations, with a distinct “che-bek” or “chyup” call that is easy to recognize once you hear it.

In conclusion, the Least Flycatcher may be small and unassuming, but its size belies its importance in the ecosystem – as an insect-eater and as a source of food for larger predators. So next time you’re out bird-watching in North America’s woodlands or fields, keep an ear out for this little bird’s distinctive call!