Among flycatchers, the yellow-bellied flycatcher is distinguished by its olive-green overall color, yellow throat, and complete white eye ring.
The loud and abrupt chebunk or chebork song is similar to that of the least flycatcher, but softer—and typically accompanied by a dramatic toss of the head with each note.
The flycatcher family of birds includes some of the most challenging species to distinguish from one another. The yellow-bellied flycatcher’s yellow throat and white eye ring are unlike the markings you will see on any other flycatchers, making these reliable field marks. However, due to subtle color variations of flycatchers within the same species, the most reliable identifying characteristic is to learn and recognize the yellow-bellied’s song.
During breeding season, yellow-bellied flycatchers can be found in bogs or in coniferous forests across southern and central Canada, and as far south as northern Minnesota, northern Wisconsin, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and throughout northern New England. They migrate primarily east of the Mississippi River. They are often observed hunting for insects in the lower levels of the forest understory.