With its generous-sized head, long wings, and a short, wide tail, the olive-sided flycatcher is one of the largest tyrant flycatchers. It has a dark head and white patches near the sides of the back.
Olive-sided flycatchers are loud flycatchers that make a hard, repetitious pip call. Listen for the song, which is a sharp quick, three beers!
If you are in a bog or burned-out area in spring or summer and hear a distinctive quick, three beers! song coming from the tallest snag, you’re sure to have spotted an olive-sided flycatcher.
Often found in open clearings of boreal or coniferous forests, olive-sided flycatchers usually perch on the tallest dead snag to survey for competitors and predators, and to hunt for flying insects. They repeatedly return to the same unobstructed perch—a photographer’s delight.
Breeding males are highly territorial, and will make quite a show of expelling rival males from claimed territory.