Studying threatened Olive-sided Flycatchers in our Peace Region

Project Year: 2018-2019

View Provincial Database Record

Olive-sided Flycatcher Photo Credit: Julie Hagelin and Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Project Lead

Chu Cho Environmental LLP


Peace Region


Project Type

Species-Based Actions

FWCP Contribution


Action Plan Alignment

Species of Interest Action Plan

Project ID


Update: Three male Olive-sided Flycatchers located

In May-June 2018, survey efforts were concentrated in three areas within the study area: 1) Fort Ware, Kwadacha survey area; 2) Tsay Keh Dene survey area; and 3) the 2014 Tenakihi-Mesilinka burn site, Tenakihi-Mesilinka survey area. These areas contain habitat suitable for Olive-sided Flycatchers, including wetlands, cutblocks of varying ages, and recent burns. One hundred and thirteen call-playback surveys were conducted and three male Olive-sided Flycatchers were positively identified. Further surveys and a greater sample size of positive detections are necessary before conclusions can be drawn regarding population estimates, distribution, or the ability of the habitat to support this species.

Identifying Olive-sided Flycatcher breeding populations

British Columbia supports a large portion of the remaining Olive-sided Flycatcher breeding population. Although northern B.C. has suitable habitat for this songbird, there is limited knowledge regarding abundance and breeding success. Due to a population decline of approximately 70 per cent in the last 45 years, this species has been listed as threatened by COSEWIC (Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada) and blue-listed in British Columbia. The Government of Canada has identified reduced breeding habitat quality as a potential source of population decline, and cites increased monitoring and research on the breeding grounds as high priority actions. This project aims to identify breeding populations of Olive-sided Flycatchers in northern B.C., to establish study populations for future research and monitoring.


Final report: executive summary

Olive-sided flycatchers are a songbird species in steep decline; due to these declines the species has been blue listed (of special concern) in British Columbia and listed on Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act as threatened. The causes of these declines are not well understood, however, it is hypothesized reduced habitat quality or availability on the breeding grounds may be contributing factors. During breeding, olivesided flycatchers utilize open and edge habitat (e.g., burns, wetlands), often associated with water sources (e.g., streams, rivers, wetlands). This species readily inhabits harvested forests, however, nest success in these sites is lower than in burned habitat, suggesting this anthropogenic disturbance may create an ecological trap. North-central British Columbia has been identified as important stop-over habitat for olive-sided flycatchers migrating to breeding grounds in Alaska, yet there is little on-the-ground knowledge about olivesided flycatchers and the habitats they utilize in this region.


Click the provincial database link below to read the full final report for this project.

View more about this project on the provincial database