Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
(Empidonax flaviventris)


Picture of bird
© Jukka Jantunen (
For additional photos and vocalizations, visit Dendroica. (Link opens in a new window.)

The breeding range of the Yellow-bellied Flycatcher stretches from Yukon Territory across the boreal forest to Newfoundland, with centres of abundance in eastern Canada. Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data show a large increase in the population of Yellow-bellied Flycatchers in Canada since the early 1970s. However, the northernmost portions of this boreal flycatcher's range are not well covered by the BBS. With more than 80% of the global breeding population, Canada's responsibility for the Yellow-bellied Flycatcher is very high. This species has been identified as a priority for conservation and/or stewardship in one or more Bird Conservation Region Strategies in Canada.


Main designations for the species
DesignationStatusDateSubspecies, population
IUCN (Global)Least concern2018 
Wild Species (Canada)Secure2015 
Bird Conservation Region StrategyPriority Species2013 

Population status

Geographic area or populationPopulation change relative to ~1970ReliabilityStatus in relation to goal
CanadaLarge IncreaseMediumAt an Acceptable Level

Population estimate

Geographic area or populationPopulation estimate
Canada5,000,000 - 50,000,000 adults

Distribution maps


Migration strategy, occurrence

Long-distance migrant

Responsibility for conservation

Geographic areaResponsibility based on % of global population
CanadaVery High

General nesting period in Canada

Nesting period starts between early June and mid-June and ends between late July and early August, depending on the region. Before or after this period, the probability of an active nest is lower.

Conservation and management

An aerial-foraging insectivore, the Yellow-bellied Flycatcher is faring better than most other birds in this guild, many of which are showing widespread declines in Canada (Nebel et al. 2010, Smith et al. 2015). The reason why this species appears to be increasing when others in the group are not is unclear, but may be due to a long-term rebound effect from regeneration of previously logged areas (Gross and Lowther 2011). However, the Yellow-bellied Flycatcher's wintering grounds in Mexico have been negatively affected by the loss of rainforest (Gross and Lowther 2011).


Bird conservation region strategies

Environment and Climate Change Canada and partners have developed Bird Conservation Region Strategies in each of Canada’s Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs). In these strategies, selected species are identified as priorities for one or more of the following reasons:

  • conservation concerns (i.e., species vulnerable due to population size, distribution, population trend, abundance, or threats)
  • stewardship responsibilities (i.e., species that typify the regional avifauna or have a large proportion of their range or population in the sub-region)
  • management concerns (i.e., species that require ongoing management because of their socio-economic importance as game species, or because of their impacts on other species or habitats)
  • other concerns (i.e., species deemed a priority by regional experts for other reasons than those listed above or because they are listed as species at risk or concern at the provincial level)

Select any of the sub-regions below to view the BCR strategy for additional details.

BCRs, marine biogeographic units, and sub-regions in which the species is listed as a priority
RegionSub-region and priority type
Boreal Softwood ShieldBoreal Softwood Shield, sub-region and priority type: Atlantic, NL -- Other
Boreal Softwood ShieldBoreal Softwood Shield, sub-region and priority type: Ontario -- Stewardship
Boreal Softwood ShieldBoreal Softwood Shield, sub-region and priority type: Prairie and Northern -- Stewardship
Boreal Softwood ShieldBoreal Softwood Shield, sub-region and priority type: Quebec -- Stewardship