Great Crested FlycatcherMyiarchus crinitus

adult
Glenn Bartley/VIREO
adult
Rick and Nora Bowers/VIREO
adult
Rob Curtis/VIREO
Great Crested Flycatcher
Great Crested Flycatcher

Description

9" (23 cm). Slightly crested. Brown above, with gray throat, yellow belly, rufous wings and tail, and pale brown at base of lower mandible.

Voice

A loud, whistled, slightly buzzy wheep, sometimes repeated. Also a raucous whit-whit-whit-whit.

Listen

prrrt calls
weep and prrrt calls
outbursts
dawn song
outbursts of pair

Habitat

Open forests, orchards, and large trees in farm country.

Range

Breeds from south-central and southeastern Canada to Gulf Coast. Winters in southern Florida; also in tropics.

Discussion

This species is to woodlands what the Eastern Kingbird is to open country. It is noisy, aggressive, and even more colorful. Living mostly under the forest canopy, however, it is much more often heard than seen, and is much less in evidence than its black-and-white relative. A mystifying habit is its frequent use of shed snakeskins in its nest lining. Whether this is intended to frighten off predators or merely decorate the nest is not known. The Great Crested is the only eastern flycatcher that nests in holes.

Nesting

5 or 6 creamy-white, brown-spotted eggs in tree cavities or bird boxes. The bulky nest is lined with all sorts of trash--cellophane, snakeskins, string, rags.

Similar Species

adult

Greater Pewee

7-7 3/4" (18-20 cm). Large-headed flycatcher with slight crest. Olive-brown above, slightly lighter below. Small light gray throat patch, yellow lower mandible, and indistinct wing bars.

adult

Ash-throated Flycatcher

8" (20 cm). Dull olive above, yellowish below.

adult

Dusky-capped Flycatcher

6 1/2 -7" (17-18 cm). A small Myiarchus flycatcher, with much brown, but no rufous on tail. Pale olive-brown above, grayish throat and breast, pale yellow belly.

adult

Brown-crested Flycatcher

9 1/2" (24 cm). A large flycatcher, olive above and yellow below, with cinnamon in wings and tail.

adult

Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher

7 1/2 -8 1/2" (19-22 cm). A large, heavily streaked flycatcher. Upperparts buff-brown with brown streaks; underparts yellow with blackish streaks.

adult

Cassin's Kingbird

8-9" (20-23 cm). Similar to Western Kingbird but darker, back more olive-gray, black tail lightly white-tipped but lacking white margins.

Vireo

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