Hammond's Flycatcher (Empidonax hammondii)
Associated Species: Other species that may use habitat in a similar way and/or respond similarly
to threats, management, and conservation activities include Three-toed Woodpecker, Brown
Creeper, Golden-crowned Kinglet, and Hermit Thrush.
Distribution: Hammond's Flycatchers breed from central Alaska south in the mountains to
northern New Mexico and south-central California. They breed throughout the Southern Rocky
Mountains in suitable habitat. Their wintering grounds extend from northern Mexico south into
Habitat Requirements: Hammond's Flycatchers breed in mature closed-canopy spruce-fir,
mixed-conifer, and aspen forests with limited ground vegetation.
Ecology: Birds arrive in Colorado in late May, and lay eggs in early June. Most young leave the
nest by early August. Most birds leave for the wintering grounds by the end of August. These
flycatchers are strictly insectivorous, their diet consisting of beetles, caterpillars, butterflies, and
Management Issues and Conservation Recommendations: Harvesting of mature forests has
been shown to be detrimental to this species. Maintain mature, closed-canopy coniferous forests
in stands >10 ha (25 ac).
Status and Reasons for Concern: Hammond's Flycatchers share habitat components with other
bird species of mature spruce-fir forests, and thus serve as a suitable "umbrella" species for
management actions. Within Physiographic Area 62, BBS data do not show a statistically
significant annual rate of change between 1966 and 1996 (P = 0.80; n = 18 routes). Hammond's
Flycatchers were present on an average of 33.16% (SE = 3.77) of the BBS routes run in
Physiographic Area 62 in Colorado during 1988-1997, at an average abundance of 2.36 (SE =
0.41) individuals per route. The mean number of routes run each year was 21.1 (SE = 3.06).
This species is monitored by MCB with point transects.
Biological Objective: Maintain or increase the species' abundance and distribution, based upon
results of the BBS, MCB, or other monitoring programs.
Selected References: Andrews and Righter 1992, Beaver and Baldwin 1975, Kingery 1998,