WatchList Species Account for Olive-sided Flycatcher
(Contopus cooperi)

Qualifies for the list as a Declining Yellow List Species


Olive-sided Flycatcher
Photo: Greg Lavaty

The Olive-sided Flycatcher nests along edges and openings in coniferous forests. Tall trees with snags are a necessary element of its habitat. This bird breeds as far north as northern and western Alaska and winters as far south as Bolivia.


Breeding Bird Survey data indicate that the Olive-sided Flycatcher is becoming more scarce throughout its range, with an overall annual decline of 3.9% from 1966 to 1996. The greatest declines have been noted in the areas of its greatest relative abundance, west of the Rocky Mountains.


These declines have likely been caused by loss of breeding habitat to logging, insects, and acid rain; fire suppression; pesticides; and perhaps most significantly, habitat loss on its South American wintering grounds.


The Olive-sided Flycatcher responds well to several types of harvesting in coniferous forests, such as selective overstory removal and removal of trees over 25 cm dbh. In Montana, it is more abundant in partial-cut forests where snags are preserved, rather than in unlogged forests.


Evaluation of the status and ecology of the species on its wintering grounds is a top research priority.