Great crested flycatcher

Myiarchus crinitus

SUBFAMILY

Tyranninae

TAXONOMY

Myiarchus crinitus Linnaeus, 1758. Monotypic. OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Tyran huppé; German: Schnäppertyrann; Spanish: Atrapamoscas Copetón.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

8.5 in (21.5 cm). Plumage includes a dark gray crown, olive-green upper parts, gray throat and upper breast, yellow belly

and undertail coverts, two white wing bars, and reddish inner webs on tail feathers. Bill is heavy and black.

DISTRIBUTION

Eastern half of the United States, extending into southeastern Canada. Winters from eastern Mexico to Columbia.

HABITAT

Prefers thickly wooded areas and forest edges. BEHAVIOR

Lives singly or in pairs. Aggressively territorial; males will battle in the air with other males, clawing and pulling out feathers. Songs include a strong whistle of "wheeeep!" and a rolling "prrrrrrreeet!" Often perches high in the canopy on exposed or dead limbs. Migratory.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Hawks large insects in midair, higher in the air than most flycatchers; also gleans prey from foliage. Sallies from and back to a single perch. Takes beetles, crickets, katydids, caterpillars, moths, butterflies, and some fruits and berries.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Breeds monogamously once per year. Male chases female in flight during courtship. Nest, built by both sexes, is located in a preformed cavity such as the abandoned hole of another bird or a bird box. Nest lining is often covered with a shed snake-skin or piece of discarded plastic. Female incubates four to eight eggs for 13 to 15 days.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened. Habitat is vulnerable to deforestation.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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