Great-crested Flycatcher

Myiarchus: Lord of the Flies

Order: Passeriformes
Family: Tyrannidae
Genus: Myiarchus
Species: crinitus

La. passer sparrow, small bird
La. forma form, kind, species
Gr. turannos tyrant
La. tyrannus tyrant, despot, king
La. -idae appearance, resemblance

Gr. muia a fly
Gr. arkhos lord, prince
La. crinitus long haired

Painting of a singing great-crested flycatcher perched on a twig.
Nine inches long. Upper parts olive. Olive brown crested head, yellow belly, ashy gray throat and breast, chestnut tail. Wing coverts crossed with two irregular bars of yellowish white.
USGS map shows the great-crested flycatcher ranges east of the Rocky Mountains in the US and Canada to the East Coast.
Inhabits woodlands and small towns in North America east of the Rocky Mountains from the Gulf States to New Brunswick and Quebec, west to Alberta. Winters in the Gulf States, eastern Mexico and Central America as far as Costa Rica.
Pursues flying insects, some beneficial wasps but mostly pestilent flies and moths. Also eats beetles, ants, crickets and berries.

Domineering neighbor. Promptly dashes after any other bird intruders, or even drives them out of their nests to make his own.

Builds bulky nests of twigs, grass, rootlets, feathers and snake skins in natural or abandoned tree cavities. Often found nesting in boxes intended for bluebirds or purple martins.

Lays three to six light brown speckled eggs, which hatch after about two weeks incubation and young leave the nest in about another two weeks.

Painting of a great-crested flycatcher perched on a branch with tree tops in the background.
The Great-crested Flycatcher Birdhouse has a 6″ by 6″ floor, 9″ inside floor to ceiling, 1 3/4″ diameter entrance hole located 7″ above the floor and ventilation openings.
Attach the roof with hinges and lock in a closed position with shutter hooks. Some prefer a fixed roof with a Side Opening Door.

Use rough cut wood stock on both sides. Assemble with corrosion resistant screws fit to pre-drilled countersunk pilot holes to reduce splitting wood.

Mount this nest box on a tree or post in a secluded area in the woods, forest or field edge, or near a stream between four and ten feet high with partial sun and shade.

Remove the nest and clean the box after the brood rearing seasons are over. Swallows, chickadees, nuthatches and woodpecker may also use this box.

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Great-crested Flycatcher

Myiarchus: Lord of the Flies

Painting of a singing great-crested flycatcher perched on a twig.
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Tyrannidae
Genus: Myiarchus
Species: crinitus

La. passer sparrow, small bird
La. forma form, kind, species
Gr. turannos tyrant
La. tyrannus tyrant, despot, king
La. -idae appearance, resemblance

Gr. muia a fly
Gr. arkhos lord, prince
La. crinitus long haired

Nine inches long. Upper parts olive. Olive brown crested head, yellow belly, ashy gray throat and breast, chestnut tail. Wing coverts crossed with two irregular bars of yellowish white.

Inhabits woodlands and small towns in North America east of the Rocky Mountains from the Gulf States to New Brunswick and Quebec, west to Alberta. Winters in the Gulf States, eastern Mexico and Central America as far as Costa Rica.
USGS map shows the great-crested flycatcher ranges east of the Rocky Mountains in the US and Canada to the East Coast.
Pursues flying insects, some beneficial wasps but mostly pestilent flies and moths. Also eats beetles, ants, crickets and berries.

Domineering neighbor. Promptly dashes after any other bird intruders, or even drives them out of their nests to make his own.

Painting of a great-crested flycatcher perched on a branch with tree tops in the background.
Builds bulky nests of twigs, grass, rootlets, feathers and snake skins in natural or abandoned tree cavities. Often found nesting in boxes intended for bluebirds or purple martins.

Lays three to six light brown speckled eggs, which hatch after about two weeks incubation and young leave the nest in about another two weeks.

Select to view or print nest box plans
The Great-crested Flycatcher Birdhouse has a 6″ by 6″ floor, 9″ inside floor to ceiling, 1 3/4″ diameter entrance hole located 7″ above the floor and ventilation openings.

Attach the roof with hinges and lock in a closed position with shutter hooks. Some prefer a fixed roof with a Side Opening Door.

Use rough cut wood stock on both sides. Assemble with corrosion resistant screws fit to pre-drilled countersunk pilot holes to reduce splitting wood.

Mount this nest box on a tree or post in a secluded area in the woods, forest or field edge, or near a stream between four and ten feet high with partial sun and shade.

Remove the nest and clean the box after the brood rearing seasons are over. Swallows, chickadees, nuthatches and woodpecker may also use this box.

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