Great Crested Flycatcher

Myiarchus crinitus

Isidor Jeklin, Global Air Photos

The Great Crested Flycatcher is a medium-sized bird, about the size of a robin. It grows up to nine inches long.

This bird is brown with a gray throat and a yellow belly. It usually lives in forests.

People usually see Great Crested Flycatchers flying out from a branch, grabbing an insect, then returning to the same branch to eat.

This bird eats a great variety of insects, such as beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, butterflies, dragonflies, katydids, and bees. It also eats small lizards, and many fruits.

Great Crested Flycatchers will hunt from the ground, or from plants, as well as from the air.

Bryan Stevens

Arthur Morris/ www.birdsasart.com

Great Crested Flycatchers breed from March to June. They build a nest in a tree cavity. Sometimes they build in a nest box set out by people.

Nests are made from leaves, grass, pine needles, bark, rootlets, twigs, moss, feathers, and fur. These birds will use bits of trash, and are well-known to use snakeskin in the nest. This may be to scare off predators.

The female flycatcher will lay five or six creamy white eggs with brown spots. Both adults care for they young who will hatch after two weeks. In another two weeks, they will fledge (leave the nest).

Victor W. Fazio, III

Great Crested Flycatchers rely on other animals, especially woodpeckers, to make holes for them to live in. Sometimes they have to fight with squirrels or European Starlings over a nesting hole. Usually, the flycatcher loses.

Squirrels also prey on baby flycatchers. Other predators of this bird include hawks, owls, and snakes.

Copyright, Peter May

Additional Media

Description
Type
Credit
Great Crested Flycatcher Song
Sound
John R. Sauer

Relationships in Nature:

PREY/FOOD
PREDATORS
SHELTER
OTHER

Differential Grasshopper

Red-tailed Hawk

Smooth Crabgrass

European Starling EC

Clouded Sulphur

Barred Owl

White Cushion Moss

Northern Ringneck Snake SP

Honey Bee

Great Horned Owl

Virginia Pine

Black Rat Snake SP

Eastern Yellow Jacket

Eastern Gray Squirrel

Loblolly Pine

Copperhead SP

Eastern Tent Caterpillar Moth

Black Rat Snake

Eastern White Pine

Northern Water Snake SP

Field Cricket

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Virginia Creeper

Evergreen Blackberry D

Blue Bottle Fly

Poison Ivy

True Katydid

Trumpet Creeper

Five-lined Skink

Wild Grape

Painted Lady

White Oak

Organ-pipe Mud Dauber

Silver Maple

Sassafras

Black Willow

Virginia Creeper

American Sycamore

Spicebush

Black Locust

Flowering Dogwood

Bigtooth Aspen

Wild Grape

Black Cherry

Highbush Blueberry

Pokeweed

Polyphemus Moth

Relationship to Humans:

Great Crested Flycatchers help people by eating a great many pesky insects. Some people build bird boxes hoping flycatchers will live in them.

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

KINGDOM
Animal
PHYLUM
Chordate
CLASS
Bird
ORDER
Passeriformes
FAMILY
Tyrannidae
GENUS
Myiarchus
SPECIES
Myiarchus crinitus

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