Rio Grande Riparian Corridor

Southwestern willow flycatcher on nest / USFWS

Working for wildlife.

The Southwestern willow flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus; SWWIFL) is a state and federally-listed endangered subspecies of the willow flycatcher (Empidonax traillii; WIFL). It is an insectivorous, neotropical migrant that nests in dense riparian vegetation in the Southwestern United States. Studies indicate that SWWIFL populations have declined across their range. The primary causes of declining populations are likely habitat loss or modification.

The refuge has identified areas that could become suitable habitat for the flycatcher and is currently working to restore this habitat. Refuge staff is currently removing invasive species and planting native willow and cottonwood. Flycatchers also seem to favor nesting near open water, so the refuge is in the planning stages of creating additional ponds near native willow stands.