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Hammond's Flycatcher - Empidonax hammondii

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Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S4B

Agency Status
USFWS:
USFS:
BLM:
FWP Conservation Tier: 2
PIF: 2

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Copyright by Borror Laboratory of Bioacoustics, Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, all rights reserved.
 
General Description
Similar to the Dusky and Gray Flycatchers whose habitats occasionally overlap theirs. The Hammond's Flycatcher is a small suboscine, 12.5 to 14.5 cm, 7.7 to 12.1 g. Sexually monomorphic. During breeding season, males have cloacal protuberance, females have brood patch. Upper parts grayish olive; head more grayish with less olive; sides of breast and upper breast dark gray. Abdomen and undertail coverts yellowish to whitish depending on extent of prenuptial molt; yellow or white of abdomen bordered by darkish flanks gives some birds a vested appearance. Throat pale gray; outer web of outer tail feathers grayish white; whitish eye-ring, often thicker behind eye. Wing-bars narrow and whitish in adults and broader and buffy in hatching year birds (Sedgwick 1994).

VOCALIZATIONS: Call notes include a sharp peek or pip given by both sexes, and a soft, descending "k-lear" or "k-lear whee-zee" most commonly given by males. Song is a burry "se-put tsurrt chu-lup", lower and huskier than Dusky Flycatcher (Empidonax oberholseri), which is slightly more musical. The song sequence may consist of all three elements or the elements given singly or in couplets, such as "tseep tsurp" (Sedgwick 1994, NGS 1999). Males sing most frequently in morning and before dusk, but will sing throughout the day, and usually use perches in mid- to upper-canopy (Sedgwick 1994).

Diagnostic Characteristics
See Whitney and Kaufmann (1985) for details on identification.

General Distribution
Montana Range



Western Hemisphere Range


eBird Occurrence Map
 


Summary of Observations Submitted for Montana
Number of Observations: 4931

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density

Recency

Breeding
(direct evidence "B")


Breeding
(indirect evidence "b")


No evidence of Breeding
(transient "t")


Overwintering
(regular observations "W")


Overwintering
(at least one obs. "w")



 

(Records associated with a range of dates are excluded from time charts)



Habitat
Inhabits cool forest and woodland, breeding primarily in dense fir, mature coniferous or mixed forests to near timberline (Sedgwick 1994).

Ecological Systems Associated with this Species
  • Details on Creation and Suggested Uses and Limitations
    How Associations Were Made
    We associated the use and habitat quality (high, medium, or low) of each of the 82 ecological systems mapped in Montana for vertebrate animal species that regularly breed, overwinter, or migrate through the state by:
    1. Using personal observations and reviewing literature that summarize the breeding, overwintering, or migratory habitat requirements of each species (Dobkin 1992, Hart et al. 1998, Hutto and Young 1999, Maxell 2000, Foresman 2001, Adams 2003, and Werner et al. 2004);
    2. Evaluating structural characteristics and distribution of each ecological system relative to the species’ range and habitat requirements;
    3. Examining the observation records for each species in the state-wide point database associated with each ecological system;
    4. Calculating the percentage of observations associated with each ecological system relative to the percent of Montana covered by each ecological system to get a measure of “observations versus availability of habitat”.
    Species that breed in Montana were only evaluated for breeding habitat use, species that only overwinter in Montana were only evaluated for overwintering habitat use, and species that only migrate through Montana were only evaluated for migratory habitat use.  In general, species were associated as using an ecological system if structural characteristics of used habitat documented in the literature were present in the ecological system or large numbers of point observations were associated with the ecological system.  However, species were not associated with an ecological system if there was no support in the literature for use of structural characteristics in an ecological system, even if point observations were associated with that system.  High, medium, and low habitat quality was assigned based on the degree to which the structural characteristics of an ecological system matched the preferred structural habitat characteristics for each species in the literature.  The percentage of observations associated with each ecological system relative to the percent of Montana covered by each ecological system was also used to guide assignments of habitat quality.  If you have any questions or comments on species associations with ecological systems, please contact Bryce Maxell at bmaxell@mt.gov or (406) 444-3655.

    Suggested Uses and Limitations
    Species associations with ecological systems should be used to generate potential lists of species that may occupy broader landscapes for the purposes of landscape-level planning.  These potential lists of species should not be used in place of documented occurrences of species (this information can be requested at: http://mtnhp.org/requests/default.asp) or systematic surveys for species and evaluations of habitat at a local site level by trained biologists.  Users of this information should be aware that the land cover data used to generate species associations is based on imagery from the late 1990s and early 2000s and was only intended to be used at broader landscape scales.  Land cover mapping accuracy is particularly problematic when the systems occur as small patches or where the land cover types have been altered over the past decade.  Thus, particular caution should be used when using the associations in assessments of smaller areas (e.g., evaluations of public land survey sections).  Finally, although a species may be associated with a particular ecological system within its known geographic range, portions of that ecological system may occur outside of the species’ known geographic range.

    Literature Cited
    • Adams, R.A.  2003.  Bats of the Rocky Mountain West; natural history, ecology, and conservation.  Boulder, CO: University Press of Colorado.  289 p.
    • Dobkin, D. S.  1992.  Neotropical migrant land birds in the Northern Rockies and Great Plains. USDA Forest Service, Northern Region. Publication No. R1-93-34.  Missoula, MT.
    • Foresman, K.R.  2001.  The wild mammals of Montana.  Special Publication No. 12.  Lawrence, KS: The American Society of Mammalogists.  278 p.
    • Hart, M.M., W.A. Williams, P.C. Thornton, K.P. McLaughlin, C.M. Tobalske, B.A. Maxell, D.P. Hendricks, C.R. Peterson, and R.L. Redmond. 1998.  Montana atlas of terrestrial vertebrates.  Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit, University of Montana, Missoula, MT.  1302 p.
    • Hutto, R.L. and J.S. Young.  1999.  Habitat relationships of landbirds in the Northern Region, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station RMRS-GTR-32.  72 p.
    • Maxell, B.A.  2000.  Management of Montana’s amphibians: a review of factors that may present a risk to population viability and accounts on the identification, distribution, taxonomy, habitat use, natural history, and the status and conservation of individual species.  Report to U.S. Forest Service Region 1.  Missoula, MT: Wildlife Biology Program, University of Montana.  161 p.
    • Werner, J.K., B.A. Maxell, P. Hendricks, and D. Flath.  2004.  Amphibians and reptiles of Montana.  Missoula, MT: Mountain Press Publishing Company. 262 p.

Food Habits
Diet consists of insects. The Hammond's Flycatcher is primarily an aerial forager, capturing most of its insect diet on the wing. On occasion it may forage from leaf surfaces or from the ground (Sedgwick 1994).

Ecology
Territory sizes of 1.6 to 3.2 acres in Douglas-fir or lodgepole forests in western Montana have been reported. In western Montana, 80% and 52% of singing and non-singing perches were in the upper one-third of mature conifers.

Reproductive Characteristics
In western Montana, nests were saddled on limbs of mature conifers, 10.5 to 40 feet high. They breed in June and July. Near the Fortine area, young were being fed on July 19.

References
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Citation for data on this website:
Hammond's Flycatcher — Empidonax hammondii.  Montana Field Guide.  Montana Natural Heritage Program and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.  Retrieved on April 17, 2014, from http://FieldGuide.mt.gov/detail_ABPAE33080.aspx
 
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