GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER(Myiarchus crinitus) – (See images below)
DESCRIPTION: The GreatCrested Flycatcher does have a head crest but it is not very visible. The head is large, the body slim and the tail long. The belly is lemon yellow, the upper parts reddish-brown and the face, throat and breast are light grey. The bill and the legs are dark grey. The bill is short and straight, but large at the base. Sexes are similar. This bird measures approximately 20 cm (8 inches) long.
NAME: The English name ‘Flycatcher’ relates to the feeding behavior of the bird. The Latin genus name ‘Myiarchus’ means ‘ruling over flies’, and the Latin species name ‘crinitus’ means ‘long hair’(for the crest).
HABITAT: Edges of mature deciduous forests and fragmented habitats.
DIET: Perches high in the tree canopy and catches insects on the fly, but also pursues some on leaves. Returns to the same perching spot. Also feeds on berries, swallowing them whole and spitting out the seeds.
NESTING: The great crested flycatcher is also the only species in its family to nest in a cavity, whether naturally made or man-made. It has the peculiar habit of lining its nest with a snakeskin, and it is thought that it may help ward off predators. When this item is not available, sometimes the bird will use onionskin or plastic wrap instead. Between four and seven pinkish eggs are laid, incubated by the female. Chicks fed by both parents.
DISTRIBUTION: Breeding range covers the south eastern half of Canada and the eastern half of the USA. Migrates to southern Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and the northern tip of South America for the winter.
ON PEI: The great crested flycatcher breeds on Prince Edward Island, but sightings have only been ‘occasional’ so far, in the summer. This is because the island is situated at the north east end of its overall breeding range.
CONSERVATION: Numbers of this flycatcher are relative stable and the species is currently not at risk.
NOTES: This species is the most colorful flycatcher. When on the ground, flies from one spot to another rather than walk or hop.
SIMILAR SPECIES: Eastern Wood Pewee, Eastern Phoebe
REFERENCES: (Maritimes Breeding Bird Atlas)
Minnesota Breeding Bird Atlas (Great Crested Flycatcher) (Missouri Department of Conservation)

Great crested flycatcher – Ash, NC – photo by DickDaniels
Great crested flycatcher, NC, Dick Daniels
Great crested flycatcher – Sanibel Island, FL – photo by Peter Wallack
Great crested flycatcher
FL, by Peter Wallack