The Great-crested Flycatcher is a cavity nester that is often more easily heard than seen, with rolling calls echoing through the woods. It's often found in more open wooded areas and around the edges of clearings. This member of the Tyrant Flycatcher family can be found year-round in Southern Florida.

It forages by flying out from a perch to catch insects either off of foliage or branches or may actually catch them in mid-air. As photographed, this young flycatcher is living up to it's name and is seemingly showing off a fresh catch.

Their diet depends on a wide variety of insects including caterpillars, moths, butterflies and beetles. In addition, they regularly supplement their diet with fruits and berries, which may be a major part of their diet while residing on Sanibel and Captiva. The wide variety of protected native plants and the food source they provide, play an important role in the survival of this and other island bird species.

Several Great-crested Flycatchers have fledged in nest boxes throughout the property over several years. Native Bird Boxes owner and operator, Brian Beckner, provides nest box installation, monitoring and reporting on over 20 nest boxes on the course and in the Sanctuary community. The Great-crested Flycatcher makes it's nest foundation of grass, weeds, bark, feathers and other debris. Interestingly, observation has shown that their nest usually includes a piece of snake skin in it's lining. If not a snake skin, then often a clear piece of plastic can be found.

Catching a view of a Great-crested Flycatcher might not be easy but with an idea of their call it would be much easier. Check out a variety of call sounds of this small, brightly colored, active bird. Go to for some excellent audio ID. Good luck !!