The Great Crested Flycatcher is olive-green above, with a gray face and breast, a yellow belly, and reddish flight feathers and tail.
Seasonal change in appearanceNone.
JuvenileJuveniles are similar to adults.
HabitatGreat Crested Flycatchers are found in deciduous forests and woodlands.
DietGreat Crested Flycatchers primarily eat insects, but also consume fruits and berries.
BehaviorGreat Crested Flycatchers sally forth from a perch to catch insects in midair, sometimes hovering to forage as well.
Great Crested Flycatchers breed across most of the eastern U.S. and parts of southern Canada. They winter in Mexico south to South America. The population appears stable.
Bent Life History
Visit the Bent Life History for extensive additional information on the Great Crested Flycatcher.
The shape of a bird's wing is often an indication of its habits and behavior. Fast flying birds have long, pointed wings. Soaring birds have long, broad wings. Different songbirds will have a slightly different wing shape. Some species look so much alike (Empidonax flycatchers) that scientists sometimes use the length of specific feathers to confirm a species' identification.
Wing images from the University of Puget Sound, Slater Museum of Natural History
Great Crested Flycatchers are usually first detected in eastern woodlands by their frequent and distinctive calls.
Shed snake skins are usually included in the nest lining of Great Crested Flycatchers.
VocalizationsThe most frequent vocalization is a loud "wheeeep".
The nest is a deep foundation of mosses, grass, feathers, snakeskin, and debris placed in a natural cavity or old woodpecker hole, a nest box, or even hollow machinery.
EggsNumber: Usually lay 5 eggs.
Color: White or yellowish with darker markings.
Incubation and fledging:
The young hatch at about 13-15 days, and leave the nest in another 14-15 days, though continuing to associate with the adults for some time.