Great Crested Flycatcher
Crested Flycatcher (Myiarchus crinitus) lives in all states east of
the Rockies and is common in open deciduous forests and orchards. It
is a dark olive gray on the back, with a yellow underside and light gray
throat. Its distinctive crest gives it its name, and it has a large
bill. It is nearly 9" long and is the only eastern flycatcher to
nest in cavities. In fact, it will nest in nearly any kind of
cavity. It is a fiercely territorial bird.
In spite of its long
bill, the flycatcher does not make its own cavity, depending on rotting
trees or posts, or on holes made by woodpeckers or those provided by
bird-loving humans. Flycatchers feed in the tops of trees, primarily
on insects, and emit a loud "wheeeeep." They frustrate bird
watchers, as they are more often heard than seen.
They are aptly named,
as they may sit on a perch watching for insects, and then dart out and
catch even a dragonfly in mid-air. They also eat beetles, bees and
wasps, but do not eat many mosquitoes or gnats.
Flycatchers are known
for using the skins shed by snakes in making their nests.
Flycatcher (Myriachus cinerascens) is a resident of the Southwest
and lives in hot, dry areas with cactus as well as in dry, open woodlands
from Colorado to Washington. This Flycatcher is dull olive colored
like the Great Crested cousin, but is smaller (8") and less
Both species of
flycatcher migrate to Mexico and Central America. Their populations
are threatened today by the loss of rain forests in these areas which are
their winter homes.
prefers open areas adjacent to woodlands. Place the nest box on a
tree or post near an open area, between 6 and 20 feet above the
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