This is the smallest of North America's breeding flycatchers. Upperparts are olive-gray. Proportionally larger-headed and more slender in the torso than similar "Empidonax" flycatchers. Wings show very short primary projection and lack strong wingbars. The crown is slightly darker and often raised to form a crest. The tail and wings are darker, with two indistinct wing bars. The pale lores and supercilium contrast with the indistinct dark eye line. The breast is pale gray, fading to whitish or yellowish on the belly and undertail coverts. The bill is short and blunt-tipped, black with an orange base on the lower mandible. Juvenile has a more rounded crown, buffy wing bars and tertial edges.
Length: 10 (cm) Wingspan: 18 (cm)
Song is a series of doubled whistles, with the second note lower in pitch: Peee peep, Peee peep.
Riparian woodlands, mesquite thickets.
Often pumps tail up and down while feeding. Unlike other small North American flycatchers (Empidonax), perches at varied angles and is more frenetic. Tends to move about through the vegetation more like a warbler.
Gleans insects from foliage. Also flycatches and eats small fruit.
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