Thursday, October 2, 2008

Wild Fact: Great Crested Flycatcher

If you hear an ascending “wheep” whistled from the treetops, a Great Crested Flycatcher is nearby. As its name suggests, this large songbird is one of nature’s pest controllers. Flies are only one kind of insect this species catches. Other foods include beetles, wasps, bees, crickets, moths, and caterpillars as well as fruits and berries. Rarely, flycatchers eat hummingbirds too.

Great Crested Flycatchers breed in eastern North America but migrate towards Central and South America every fall. Typical nest sites are hardwood tree cavities near clearings, although they sometimes use bird boxes in suitable habitat. Twigs, leaves, hair, feathers, snake skins, and cellophane are common nest materials.

WILD Fact is a regular feature written by Linda May, a wildlife interpretive specialist with the Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division based at the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center in Mansfield, Georgia.