By Sarah Diaz for The Island Eye News
You may not have heard of great crested flycatchers, but you have heard their raucous calls this spring!
This flycatcher, caught and released at the Sullivan’s Island Bird Banding station this spring, is the only member of the myiarchus genus found in the Southeastern United States. The yellow belly, large head and long rufous tail are distinctive features. This species breeds throughout the Eastern United States and migrates down to Central America, Venezuela and Colombia to spend its winters. You can try to attract this neotropical migrant to your own yard by placing a flycatcher box in an open area.
You should attach some sort of predator guard to your nest box pole to prevent snakes, squirrels and other critters from raiding the nest. Great crested flycatchers are known for placing snake skins in their nest boxes to deter predators. They also place candy wrappers or other shiny plastic films in the box, apparently mistaking them for pieces of snakeskin.
The Sullivan’s Island Bird Banding Station has put normal operations on hold due to the current situation with COVID-19. You can contact Sarah Díaz at firstname.lastname@example.org.