The Variegated Flycatcher breeds in much of South America east of the Andes south to northern Argentina, although it is apparently absent as a breeder from western Amazonia. The nominate subspecies (E. v. varius) vacates the southern portion of its breeding range during the austral winter, moving north to northern South America, including the western Amazon basin. As with some other austral migrants, this species is prone to vagrancy, and there have been several records from the United States and Canada. One of several similar "streaked" flycatchers, the Variegated is intermediate in size between the smaller Piratic (Legatus leucophaius) and larger Streaked (Myiodynastes maculatus) flycatchers. It is fairly common and conspicuous in forest patches, edge habitats, and more heavily-wooded savannas, where it sallies for insects and also regularly consumes small fruit.