Adults have brown-olive upperparts, darker on the wings and tail, with whitish underparts; they have an indistinct white eye ring, white wing bars and a small bill. The breast is washed with olive-grey. The upper part of the bill is grey; the lower part is orangish. Willow Flycatchers and Alder Flycatchers can be confused as one species, they are similar, only their song tells them apart.

Habitat and Distribution

The breeding habitat of Willow Flycatchers is deciduous thickets, especially willows and often near water, across the United States and southern Canada. They are neotropical often migrating to Mexico and Central America, and in small numbers as far south as Ecuador in South America, selecting winter habitat near water.


They wait on a perch near the top of a shrub and fly out to catch insects in flight, also sometimes picking insects from foliage while hovering. They may eat some berries.


Willow Flycatchers make a cup nest in a vertical fork in a shrub or tree.

Calls and Songs

This bird's song is a sneezed fitz-bew. The call is a dry whit.