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Olive-sided Flycatcher Contopus cooperi
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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The species has undergone a moderately rapid decline and therefore qualifies as as Near Threatened.

Taxonomic source(s)
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

Taxonomic note
Use of the specific name cooperi rather than borealis follows AOU (1998).

Contopus borealis Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993), Contopus borealis Stotz et al. (1996)

Distribution and population
Contopus cooperi breeds across Canada (overlapping into eastern USA) and Alaska, and down the west coast of the USA as far as northern Mexico. There are also isolated populations in several states in the eastern USA (Altman and Sallabanks 2000). It winters primarily in Panama and the Andes Mountains, from north and west Venezuela south through Ecuador to south-east Peru and west Bolivia (Altman and Sallabanks 2000). Casual wintering also occurs in the Guianas, Trinidad, south Venezuela, Brazil and south Peru (Altman and Sallabanks 2000). Based on data from the Breeding Bird Survey the population has declined by 3.5% annually since 1980, equating to a 30% decline over a ten year period, but a 20.6% decline for the period 1993-2002. Given the apparent benefits to the species of some forest management practices in north America, populations may be being affected by loss or alteration of habitat in their wintering grounds.

Population justification
Rich et al. (2004).

Trend justification
This species has undergone a large and statistically significant decrease over the last 40 years in North America (-76.3% decline over 40 years, equating to a -30.2% decline per decade; data from Breeding Bird Survey and/or Christmas Bird Count (Butcher and Niven 2007).

It breeds along forest edges and openings, semi-open forest, water edges and harvested forest where some structure has been retained. Prominent trees serve as singing and foraging posts, and both sexes are aggressively territorial (Altman and Sallabanks 2000).

Habitat loss and alteration of forest management practices may limit breeding success (Altman 1997). However, numerous studies suggest that several types of harvested forest are beneficial to the species (possibly recreating preferred post-forest fire habitat mosaics) (Altman and Sallabanks 2000). Unknown threats may be affecting the species on its wintering grounds.

Conservation Actions Underway
No species specific actions are known. Conservation Actions Proposed
Identify causes behind the declines. Develop and implement relevant actions once this first step has been completed.

Altman, B. 1997. Olive-sided Flycatcher in western North America.

Altman, B.; Sallabanks, R. 2000. Olive-sided Flycatcher Contopus cooperi. In: Poole, A.; Gill, F. (ed.), The birds of North America, No. 502, pp. 1-28. The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia and the American Ornithologists' Union, Philadelphia and Washington, DC.

Butcher, G. S.; Niven, D. K. 2007. Combining data from the Christmas bird count and the breeding bird survey to determine the continental status and trends of North American birds.

Macmynowski, D. P.; Root, T. L.; Ballard, G.; Geupel, G. R. 2007. Changes in spring arrival of Nearctic-Neotropical migrants attributed to multiscalar climate. Global Change Biology 13: 2239-2251.

Rich, T.D.; Beardmore, C.J.; Berlanga, H.; Blancher, P.J.; Bradstreet, M.S.W.; Butcher, G.S.; Demarest, D.W.; Dunn, E.H.; Hunter, W.C.; Inigo-Elias, E.E.; Martell, A.M.; Panjabi, A.O.; Pashley, D.N.; Rosenberg, K.V.; Rustay, C.M.; Wendt, J.S.; Will, T.C.

Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Bird, J., Harding, M., Sharpe, C J

Butcher, G., Rosenberg, K., Wells, J.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Contopus cooperi. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Olive-sided flycatcher (Contopus cooperi) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Near Threatened
Family Tyrannidae (Tyrant-flycatchers)
Species name author (Swainson, 1832)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 8,250,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species