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 Alder Flycatcher

Status in Michigan
Fairly Common Transient summer resident

Early Spring Date

Late Fall Date
Note: Early and Late Dates are being researched.
Image Credits
Count totals in the NMB Databases for Alder Flycatcher.

Use the links below to view the Alder Flycatcher reports in the respective databases.
If there are zero sightings for a particular season, that database will return no results.

Active Database - Spring 2005
View Alder Flycatcher sightings.
Alder Flycatcher Archives Reports
Fall 2003 5
Spring 2003 3
Winter 02-03 0
Fall 2002 0
Summer 2002 4
Spring 2002 2
Winter 01-02 0
Fall 2001 4
Summer 2001 24
Spring 2001 11
Winter 00-01 0
Fall 2000 1
Summer 2000 8
Spring 2000 9
Winter 00-99 0
Fall 1999 0
Spring/Summer 1999 4

NMB Database
Seasonal Percentage Graph
For: Alder Flycatcher

Whitefish Point Bird Observatory
Active Database - Fall 2003
View Fall 2003 sightings.
Whitefish Point Bird Observatory Official Seasonal Count Summaries for the Alder Flycatcher
Fall 1999-Spring 2002
Alder Flycatcher
Note: Some species will not be present in the WPBO archives and will return no records.

Search "The Birds of Michigan" text.

Home - Foreword - Preface - Introduction - Hypothetical List - Literature Cited

Historical Text
The Birds of Michigan - by: Norman A. Wood
Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75

Empidonax traillii traillii (Audubon)
Alder Flycatcher

Summer resident.

First listed for Michigan by Sager (1839: 413) : "Tyrannula traillii."

SPRING.-The species comes northward in the latter half of May and reaches the Upper Peninsula by the last of the month or early June.

Lower Peninsula.-In the Detroit region Swales (1903: 36) saw an Alder Flycatcher as early as May 6 in 1894, but usually noted the species after the middle of the month; in the vicinity of Ann Arbor various ob- servers have recorded it between May 15 and 20. G. A. Ammann observed 1 on May 23, 1940, at the Prairie Farm, Alicia, Saginaw County. Walkinshaw usually recorded it (1930 to 1940) in the Battle Creek area by May 15, and Gibbs (1885: 134) noted it also as arriving in the middle of the month in Kalamazoo County. The only available data on the migration of the species in the northern part of the peninsula are 2 specimens (M.C.Z.) collected by William Brewster near Oden, Emmet County, on May 28, 1888.

Upper Peninsula.-Christofferson has recorded the species from the eastern part of the peninsula in the last few days of May and in early June (6 seen at Munuscong Bay, Chippewa County, May 29, 1922; 1 seen at Blaney, Schoolcraft County, May 31, 2023). Brodkorb found it common at Seney, Schoolcraft County, from June 2 to 11, 1938. Leonard Wing collected 2 specimens (U.M.M.Z.) in Marquette County: 1 near Green Creek, June 8, 1931, 1 near Ishpeming, June 9, 1931; Wing (1940: 183) saw the species near Kenton, Houghton County, June 6 and 7, 1932. At Copper Harbor, Keweenaw County, N. A. Wood (1933: 722) saw 1 on May 29 and 1 on Isle Royale, June 7, 1930.

SUMMER.-Nesting is reported from most regions of Michigan; eggs are found from the second week in June to the middle of July or later.

Lower Peninsula.-Swales (1903: 36) listed this flycatcher as an abundant summer resident in the region of Detroit. Nests taken in southeastern counties include 1 (U.M.M.Z.) with 4 young in Erie Township, Monroe County, taken by T. D. Hinshaw and A. D. Tinker, July 8, 1934, and 1 (U.M.M.Z.) with 2 eggs and 1 young at Portage Lake, Jackson County, taken by Fargo (1928: 218-21) on June 27, 1927. Walkinshaw has found several nests in the vicinity of Battle Creek, from June 28 (1930, with 4 eggs) to July 17 (1932, also with 4 eggs), and F. W. Rapp (1931: 18) listed a nest with 4 eggs in the vicinity of Vicksburg, Kalamazoo County, on June 17, 1904. Leonard Wing noted the species as "common" in Crawford County during the summer of 1931, and Blanchard and Nelson (MS of 1937) found it nesting in Cheboygan County.

Upper Peninsula.-In Chippewa County, T. D. Hinshaw collected 2 (U.M.M.Z.) on Drummond Island on August 8 and 9, 1938; and in the vicinity of Whitefish Point, N. A. Wood (1914: 66) found it common during June and July. N. A. Wood (1918: 9) also noted it as not rare at Whitefish Lake, Alger County, in the summer of 1916, although in the Huron Mountains, Marquette County, Van Tyne found it "uncommon" in late June, 1936. In the western part of the peninsula this flycatcher was found in the Porcupine Mountains, Ontonagon County, by N. A. Wood, Peet, and McCreary (1906: 116) in late summer, and 2 (U.M.M.Z.) were collected July 22; it was seen by Leonard Wing (1940: 183) near Iron- wood, Gogebic County, on July 19, 20, and 26 in 1932. The species has been encountered only rarely in the summer on Isle Royale: 1 was seen there by N. A. Wood on June 7, 1930, and 1 (U.M.M.Z.) was collected by 0. McCreary on July 21, 1905.

FALL.-Departure is recorded in the Upper Peninsula by the end of August, in the southern counties by the first week of September.

Upper Peninsula.-Fargo saw 2 Alder Flycatchers on Isle Royale Au- gust 29, 1924, and at least 3 (U.M.M.Z.) have been taken there in late August, 1 in 1905, and 2 in 1929. Leonard Wing secured 1 (U.M.M.Z.) at the mouth of the Montreal River, Gogebic County, on August 26, 1931, and N. A. Wood (1918: 9) noted the species as common in Alger County during August (1, U.M.M.Z., collected August 11). Christofferson has not re- corded it after the last of August at Blaney, Schoolcraft County, although he reported 1 at Munuscong Bay, Chippewa County, on September 5, 1928.

Lower Peninsula.-N. A. Wood (1911: 98) noted Alder Flycatchers in the fall on Charity Island, Huron County, between August 27 and September 6. L. D. Case took 1 (U.M.M.Z.) near Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County, on September 10,1940, and L. W. Campbell secured a specimen (U.M.M.Z.) in Erie Township, Monroe County, on September 5, 1936. Swales (1903:36) reported departure from the Detroit area between September 10 and 17 (he saw 8 on September 17, 2023). L. W. Campbell (1940: 191) gives September 1 as the average date for last stragglers in the Toledo-Erie marsh area, his latest record being September 19.

Mueseum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75
The Birds of Michigan
By: Norman A. Wood
University of Michigan Press
August 28, 2023

Digitized by: Keith F. Saylor
[email protected]

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