Common Name

Scientific Name



The gray flycatcher, Empidonax wrightii, is widespread in Utah, occurring predominately in pinyon-juniper, sagebrush, and desert shrubland habitats. During breeding periods, it may be found throughout much of the interior west of the United States. Gray flycatchers winter in Mexico.

Nests are constructed by the female, and are located low in shrubs or small trees, usually two to five feet up. Common nest building materials include bark, dead plant stems, grasses, and fine plant material; nests are lined with feathers and sometimes wool. The female lays three or four eggs and incubates them for fourteen days. The male may participate in incubation, but this detail has yet to be conclusively determined. Young are tended by both parents and leave the nest after about sixteen days, though they are fed by the parents for another fourteen days. This bird feeds exclusively on insects.


  • Ehrlich, P. R., D. S. Dobkin, and D. Wheye. 1988. The birder's handbook: a field guide to the natural history of North American birds. Simon and Shuster, Inc., New York. xxx + 785 pp.

  • Baicich, P. J., and C. J. O. Harrison. 1997. A guide to the nests, eggs, and nestlings of North American Birds, Second Ed. Academic Press, San Diego. 347 pp.