Great crested Flycatcher

Great Crested Flycatchers prefer breeding territories in open broadleaf or mixed woodlands and at the edges of clearings rather than in dense forests. They avoid the northern coniferous (boreal) forests of Canada. Among woodlands, they favor edge habitats in second-growth forests, wooded hedgerows, isolated woody patches, and selectively cut forests over continuous, closed-canopy forests. Dead snags and dying trees are important sources of the cavities they need for nesting. They tolerate human presence and will search out cavities in old orchards and in woody urban areas like parks, cemeteries, and golf courses. If there are enough trees, they will claim territories in pastures, along streams and rivers, and in swamps and wetlands. On their winter grounds, they extend their tolerance of wooded habitats to shrubby clearings, clearings with scattered trees, and semiarid forests.

Fun Fact

Great Crested Flycatchers weave shed snakeskin into their nest. Where it’s readily available, as in Florida, nearly every nest contains snakeskin. They also seem to look for flimsy, crinkly nest materials—they’ve also used onion skins, cellophane, or plastic wrappers.

Dawn Song



Sounds and images provided by Macaulay Library.