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Great Crested Flycatcher


Common Name: Great Crested Flycatcher

Scientific Name: Myiarchus crinitus

Order: Passeriformes

Family: Tyrannidae

Myiarchus crinitus From:

Myiarchus crinitus caught by Justin A. Sullivan while mist netting at Ninnescah Field Station. (Photos by Michael Stewart. Sedgwick County, Ninnescah Field Station)


Diagnosis: 21-22 cm from tip of bill to tip of tail, dark bill with pink at the peripherals of the bill base. A hint of rufus coloring in the wings and tail, a yellow belly, mouse grey breast, and a bushy crest that can be erected or flattened (seen erect in "mist netting" photos).


Natural History: Cavities are used as nests, often filled with debris with nest on top. Leaves, hair, feathers, paper, and often snake skins, are used when building nests. Nests may include 4 to 8 eggs. Like most flycatchers, Great Crested Flycatchers winter in South America. They spend the summer breeding season in the eastern 2/3 of the United States. Gives a loud, whistled weeeep call.


Distribution: Considered to be "Fairly Common" in the United States.

Image from and consistent with the distribution map from 2009 edition of Peterson Field Guide to Birds of North America


Habitat: Great Crested Flycatchers prefer woodland habitats, and can often be seen in urban areas with large shade trees. This bird spends very little time on the ground, most time spent in the canopy.


Diet: Great Crested Flycatchers catch insects on the fly, and will occasionally eat small fruits.


Conservation Status: Least Concern


Video: Crested Flycatcher Calls



Links: USDS:

South Dakota Birds: Photo Gallery:



Lanyon, W. E. 1997. Great Crested Flycatcher (Myiarchus crinitus). The Birds of North America. The American Ornithologists' Union.

Peterson, Roger T. 2009 Peterson Field Guide to Birds: of North America. Houghton Mifflin Co.

Submitted By: Justin A. Sullivan, July 27th 2012

Wichita State University
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