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 Least Flycatcher

Status in Michigan
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 Least Flycatcher.

Use the links below to view the Least 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 Least Flycatcher sightings.
Least Flycatcher Archives Reports
Fall 2003 11
Spring 2003 33
Winter 02-03 0
Fall 2002 1
Summer 2002 2
Spring 2002 25
Winter 01-02 0
Fall 2001 5
Summer 2001 7
Spring 2001 36
Winter 00-01 0
Fall 2000 6
Summer 2000 5
Spring 2000 110
Winter 00-99 0
Fall 1999 2
Spring/Summer 1999 9

NMB Database
Seasonal Percentage Graph
For: Least Flycatcher

Whitefish Point Bird Observatory
Active Database - Fall 2003
View Fall 2003 sightings.
Whitefish Point Bird Observatory Official Seasonal Count Summaries for the Least Flycatcher
Fall 1999-Spring 2002
Least 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 minimus (W. M. and S. F. Baird)
Least Flycatcher

Common summer resident.

First authoritatively listed for Michigan by Gibbs (1879: 488).

SPRING.-Arrival is reported in southern counties by early May (rarely in the last few days of April), and in the north a week or 10 days later.

Lower Peninsula.-L. W. Campbell (1940: 191, 205) has noted arrival of the earliest individuals in the Toledo-Erie marsh area on the average by May 5 (as early as April 30 in 1933) and has recorded main flight on the average between May 7 and 17. Swales (1903: 36) seldom recorded the Least Flycatcher before May 15 in the Detroit area, but collected a specimen (U.M.M.Z.) on April 30 in 1905. In the Ann Arbor region the species is regularly recorded in the first week of May. N. A. Wood (1922:18-19) listed it as rare in Berrien County, where he noted first arrival on May 9; Gibbs (1885:134) noted arrival in Kalamazoo County between April 25 and May 5. G. A. Ammann saw 1 on May 7, 1940, at the Prairie Farm, Alicia, Saginaw County, and D. W. Douglass noted "small numbers" on Sand Point, Huron County, during the spring migrations (1931 to 1933) in the latter half of May. William Brewster collected 6 specimens (M.C.Z.) in the vicinity of Oden, Emmet County, between May 19 and 28, 1888.

Upper Peninsula.-On Whitefish Point, Chippewa County, N. A. Wood (1914: 66) first noted the species on May 22 and 26 in 1914, but Brodkorb found it there as early as May 10 in 1936, and listed it as "fairly common" thereafter. Christofferson has recorded the main flight at Blaney, School- craft County, during the second and third weeks of May: in 1938 he noted 6 on May 7,10 on May 14, and 15 on May 20; and in 1937, 8 on May 16, and 10 on May 23. N. A. Wood collected a Least Flycatcher near Deerton, Alger County, on May 30,1916, and S. S. Gregory, Jr., took 3 in the Huron Mountains, Marquette County: May 19, 1921; May 20, 1921; May 23, 1932. The species was noted on May 26 and found common afterward at Copper Harbor, Keweenaw County, by N. A. Wood (1933: 722). Wood also ob- served it on Isle Royale from May 17 to June 15, 1930.

SUMMER.-Nesting is occasionally reported by the middle of May in southern counties, and by late May in the Upper Peninsula, but the species commonly nests in June.

Lower Peninsula.-John L. George discovered a nest near Half Moon Lake, Washtenaw County, on May 11, 1940, and at Horseshoe Lake in the same county H. W. Hann observed a pair on June 28, 1932, feeding a fledgling Cowbird. Leonard Wing and others (1930: 64) found 21 pairs nesting in Jackson County during the summer of 1929, and Gibbs (1885: 134) listed the species as an abundant summer resident in Kalamazoo County.

N. A. Wood and Frothingham (1905: 49) noted it as common in Crawford, Ogemaw, and Oscoda counties during June and July and saw 1 nest with 2 fresh eggs on June 18, 1903. Near Mio, Oscoda County, Van Tyne found a nest with 4 eggs on June 14, 1941, from which the young hatched 2 days later. Specimens (U.M.M.Z.) were taken in June, 1940, from North and South Manitou Islands, and the species was seen on Beaver Island by N. A. Wood June 23 and 24, 1925. Blanchard and Nelson (MS of 1937) listed the species as "very common" in Cheboygan County, where they recorded 23 nests (1908 to 1937) and noted young as early as June 24.

Upper Peninsula.-The Least Flycatcher has been found in several localities in Chippewa County: 2 specimens (U.M.M.Z.) were taken in late June, 1938, on Drummond Island (R. A. MacMullan); a nest under construction was found on May 29, 1939, at Munuscong Bay (Walkinshaw); the species was noted as common after June 30 (1914) on Whitefish Point (N. A. Wood, 1914: 66). Bryens, at McMillan, Luce County, has recorded eggs and young from June 13 (1933, nest with 4 eggs) to August 17 (1936, adults feeding fledglings). F. M. Gaige (1914: 84) found the birds common in Dickinson County in 1909 and noted several nests in early July (3 young left a nest July 5), and N. A. Wood (1918: 9) observed this fly- catcher daily in the summer of 1916 at Whitefish Lake, Alger County. Van Tyne also listed it as common in the Huron Mountains, Marquette County, from June 21 to 27, 1936, and John L. George and R. L. Patterson found it a "very common" summer resident in the vicinity of Golden Lake, Iron County, in the summer of 1938.

FALL.-The fall migration occurs in late August and early September in the Upper Peninsula and continues to the latter part of September in southern counties.

Upper Peninsula.-Max M. Peet (1909: 359-60; 1909o: 117) noted the species almost daily from August 20 to September 14 on Isle Royale in 1905; and in 1929, N. A. Wood observed it there as late as September 30. R. E. Olsen and A. D. Tinker saw 2 on August 22 and 2 on August 26, 1935, in the Porcupine Mountains, Ontonagon County; and east-ward at Whitefish Point, Chippewa County, Fargo noted 2 on August 21, 1925. F. M. Gaige (1914:84) observed the species commonly in Dickinson County during the last week of July and noted only a few in August (1 collected, U.M.M.Z., August 13, 2023) . Christofferson, at Blaney, Schoolcraft County, has regularly re- corded numbers in the third week of August (5 seen each day, August 15, 18, and 24,1937) and stragglers until the last of the month.

Lower Peninsula.-N. A. Wood and Frothingham (1905: 49) listed this flycatcher as common in Oscoda, Alcona, and Iosco counties (September 12 to 21,1903). On Charity Island, Huron County, N. A. Wood (1911: 98) found it occasional until September 21 in 1910. Gibbs (1885: 134) re- ported departure from Kalamazoo County in September; Swales (1903: 36) usually noted departure from the Detroit area by the first week in September, although in 1911 he observed relatively large numbers until mid- September (5 on September 12; 10 on September 13; 15 on September 14). Specimens (U.M.M.Z.) were taken near South Haven, Van Buren County, on September 18,2023 (Leonard Wing), and at Harbert, Berrien County, on September 7, 1917. Trautman saw 11 Least Flycatchers in Erie Township, Monroe County, on September 9,1934.

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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