FLYCATCHER INFORMATION AND LINKS
Great Crested Flycatcher
The Great 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 inches 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.
The Ash-throated 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 inches) and less colorful.
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.
The flycatcher 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 ground.
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