Great Crested Flycatcher photos

a great crested flycatcher was in my backyard, so I took some photos.

Great-crested Flycatcher box

Cleaning house

Great Crested Flycatcher removing the fecal sac.

Practicing his call

Fledgling calling on the front porch railing.

Great Crested Flycatcher

This Great Crested Flycatcher flew into my yard, and perched less than 8 feet from where I was sitting. I was sitting outside on my deck my camera, as the Pileated Woodpeckers and their young were foraging along the perimeter of my yard. This is the first time I’ve ever had this species come this close to the house. I hear the bird calling several times a day, but it has never flown into my yard and sat on a relatively low exposed perch. It made my whole day!

Great Crested Flycatcher

A Great Crested Flycatcher on a tomato plant cage. I’ve never spotted one of these in the 20 years I’ve lived at this address. A couple days in a row it landed on this metal cage for newly planted tomato plants. It hopped down and ate something on the ground each time.

Great Crested Flycatcher

Why would she do this???

Our first two Great Crested Flycatcher eggs hatched. The chicks seemed alive and fine, but mom removed them from the nest 🙁

Why would she do this?

Need. More. Feathers.

Mama Great Crested Flycatcher has been busy adding TONS of feathers to the nest over the past 48 hours. We expect the eggs to start hatching today or tomorrow!


HELP I’m really worried

Well my bluebirds fledge all 4 of them on the same day but after they left I removed the nest cleaned it and I was done for now it’s been a couple of days and they never came back. They only visited once they went inside came out and left I never seen them in my yard ever since their the babies fledged I’m worried they won’t come back this was there first brood of they year and I got excited for there future broods. A pair of great crested flycatchers came by to check the nest box then left and never returned since. I don’t know what to do it’s almost a week since the babies fledged I’m freaking out

Great Crested Flycatcher Mama in Fight Mode

Yesterday, a red-bellied woodpecker landed on the nest box and stuck its head inside. This video shows mama’s reaction. She then left the nest and fought with the woodpecker until it left the area.

Tufted Titmouse Nest Underway

Tufted Titmouse nest underway inside nest box built according to NestWatch’s plans for Great Crested Flycatcher. 🙂 Titmouse have been going in and out of the box for at least a week now. This box has gone unused for two previous nesting seasons.

Great Crested Flycatchers


There are now 5 eggs in the nest box. Mama has been on and off the nest all day – starting to incubate? We are not sure if she is done laying eggs yet. She has been showing egg-like behavior for 5 days, and there are 5 eggs. So she might still be laying eggs for the next few days – who knows?

Today is the first day we’ve been able to count the eggs, because she has been covering them with various nesting materials. They have been difficult to see. I have had to enter “unknown” for the number of eggs daily until today.

Updates here (a short video is added daily):

(The red bellied woodpecker in the preview image was a winter occupant of the nest box – I am aware that isn’t a flycatcher…)

Great Crested Flycatchers

We have a youtube playlist of these Great Crested Flycatchers in our nest box. I try to add a video every day. They have now been building their nest for 11 days, hoping for eggs soon!

Great crested Flycatcher successfully nesting in Peterson nest box–late in season

A great crested Flycatcher was sighted going in and out of a nest box (Peterson) on July 5, 2017 one week after a house wren nest had been removed. 4 eggs were found in grass/leaf, hair/ nest on 7/12. Nest pictures taken with eggs and young. First egg calculated to be laid on 7/8 and last on 7/11. Hatching (correctly) calculated to be on 7/26 and fledging of 4 occurred on 8/4.
Examination of the vacated nest revealed 5 cicada heads, 1 small praying mantis head with 2 leggs, 1 darner wing, 1 small clam shell, 1 land snail shell and many black cherry pits, feathers and much gray dusty material No snake skin seen.

Flycatchers fledged.

I missed the action of the birds leaving the nest. Watching for them around the yard.

Flycatchers are almost fledglings.

Feathered Flycatchers

Hatched Flycatchers

great crested flycatcher nest

“old’ bluebird nesting box, entrance knawed out to 3” by raccoons on forest edge of lawn

Great Crested Flycatchers hatched

Five hatched Great Crested Flycatchers. First viewing since hatched, nest additions continue with more feathers, fur, and grass. Snakeskin has been covered over. Photos of single Great Crested Flycatcher are dad hanging around just waiting for eggs to hatch. Now both parents are busy bringing bugs.

Great Crested Flycatcher Nest

Great Crested Flycatcher Nest

Nest observation

What will little Mama bring next?

This little Mama made a nest in this birdhouse that hangs over my deck last year. They had four beautiful babies that flew. This was the first time I had seen them in my yard and I hoped they would come back this year and they have! They are shy birds that don’t really like to be around humans. I capture them through my back window and my backdoor window. They look forever before entering the birdhouse and the male signals her when it’s o.k. most of the time. I have really enjoyed this pair of Great Crested Flycatchers…

Great Crested Flycatcher nesting in oak tree cavity

Great Crested Flycatchers have started to build nest in oak tree cavity. This pair are return nesters to yard on Anastasia Island between Atlantic Ocean and Matanzas River.

Great Crested Flycatcher

A series of photos take with an IBWP cavity camera during 2016 nesting season which clearly shows snake skin in and around the eggs. The nesting box was built for an American Kestrel but was hung in my backyard and used by a Great Crested Flycatcher pair. Unfortunately, just before the eggs were to hatch, the female disappeared. The male continued to search for her, but she never returned. Perhaps she fell victim to a predator??

Great Crested Flycatcher nest with snakeskin

A great crested flycatcher used a purple martin box for a nest site. I noticed snakeskin, rabbit fur, other fur, other feathers were used in the construction.

Great Crested Flycatcher Nestlings with Snake Skin

Great Crested Flycatcher with Snake Skin. Location: Valrico, Florida, 4/26/2017. Nesting box. Nest is in being recorded in NestWatching.

Snakeskin in the nest

I believe this was a flycatcher making this nest. It was found 5/29/12 in Lime Lake, NY.

Great-cresteds Find a Holy Grail Snakeskin

Photos were taken on 5/9/2006, before egg laying began. (I hope this 2006 data can be used and isn’t too old to submit for the current GCF Project.)

The snakeskin was so long that it was coiled around and around the interior of the box. The birds’ comings and goings kept pulling one end of the skin out the entrance hole. (I would poke it back in on occasion in hopes the neighbors wouldn’t get spooked.) 🙂

I do regular, even daily nest checks and keep detailed records dating back to 1996 … this GCF pair began nest building in a Peterson-style nest box 5-6′ off the ground, on 5/4/06. The box’s entrance hole was elongated and oriented toward the south. The snakeskin was added on 5/9/06. The first of five eggs was laid on 5/11/06. Fifth egg was laid on 5/15/06 and they began hatching on 5/30/06. Nest check of 5/30/06 revealed two hatchlings and 3 eggs; the next day there were four young and one egg. By 6/1/06 all five had hatched. All fledged successfully. We were thrilled!

My notes indicate we hosted GCFs in the same box the following year, the 2007 season, but I don’t have any photos and don’t have anything in my notes indicating whether a snakeskin was incorporated into this second nest or not. Nest building began on 4/28/07 with the first egg laid on 5/6/07. Final egg was laid on 5/10/07. All five nestlings fledged on 6/8/07 or 6/9/07.

We’ve had nest boxes up for over 20 years in three different cities/states but these two occasions are the only ones where we attracted GCFs. They were a pleasure! ~LC

You used what to build your nest?

Snake skin, rabbit fur, osprey feathers….who is living here? Great Crested Flycatcher. Mom & Dad are pretty shy, and fly away when I get closer than 20 yds. Not having a telephoto lens leaves less than clear images.

Great Crested Flycatcher

dinner for young.

GCF Nest Construction

This is the third your in a row, that this nest box has been used by a GCF pair, perhaps the same pair. It took seven days to complte, and was constructed with straws and grasses, leaves, animal fur, at least, one feather, plastic Publix grocery bag, and last, but not least, at least two different pieces of shed snake skin, added on last two nest construction days. This female appears to have high standards, always shopping for Publix bags. She’s never used a bag from Wal-mart! 🙂

Great Crested Flycatcher With Nesting Material & Completed Nest

This, could, posibly, be the same GCF pair that has used this nest box, for the third year in a row. The nest was started on 4-18-15, and appeared completed on 4-24-15. May find first egg this evening?


Ms. Flycatcher is checking out prospective nest boxes to raise her family.

Great crested flycatcher fledgling leaving the nest

I was lucky to be able to witness the flycatchers fledging. I saw one fly out so I got the camera and recorded this. They sure aren’t very big when they fledge.

Great crested flycatcher fledglings

Great crested flycatchers

I am proud to show the SIX nestlings of my pair of great crested flycatchers. This is the fourth year they’ve nested in my yard. The parents often catch bugs right off of my house and take them back to the nest box to feed their brood. A real joy to have these birds in my yard. Learn more about them at

Great crested flycatcher

Day of fledging, great crested flycatcher

Flycatcher nests

These are a variety of flycatcher nests from around Ithaca.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Cornell Lab of Ornithology