Great Crested Flycatcher
A garden resident this summer where we have several tall trees from which it can sally forth any after passing flying food. It’s been around and calling for a couple of weeks but only now did it pose for its portrait.
Great Crested Flycatchers are sit-and-wait predators, sallying from high perches (usually near the tops of trees) after large insects, returning to the same or a nearby perch. Their clear, rising reep calls are a very common sound in summer.
Eat mainly insects and other invertebrates, as well as small berries and other fruits. They eat butterflies and moths, beetles, grasshoppers and crickets, bugs, bees and wasps, flies, other insects, and spiders. These they’ll take from the air, the surfaces of leaves and branches, off the ground, from haystacks, from bark crevices, or from crannies in such human-made structures as fence posts and rails. Plant food includes small whole berries, the pits of which are regurgitated after the berries are eaten whole. Dragonflies, moths, and butterflies are offered to chicks whole, wings and all, but if they’re rejected, the parents crush the insects and re-offer them.