Monday, June 18, 2012

Great Crested Flycatcher - Late Migrant to Northern IL

A Great Crested Flycatcher doing its thing - catching flies, Rock Cut State Park, IL; 6-13-12.
Keeping with the weekend theme of Flycatchers, one of the later birds to migrate to Northern Illinois, is the Great Crested Flycatcher. These guys showed up in our parts in late May and by early June, I was finding them in many Northern Illinois natural areas - Black Hawk Springs Forest Preserve, Colored Sands FP, Rock Cut State Park, Morton Arboretum, Glacial Park, and Nygren wetlands. It is one those birds that I have learned to recognize its very vocal sounds this Spring, which ultimately makes me more aware of its existence.

The same Great Crested Flycatcher, Rock Cut State Park, IL; 6-13-12.
Great Crested Flycatchers (Above) is the largest of the Tyrant Flycatchers found in the Eastern half of the U.S., and is commonly found in mature deciduous trees. Its range stretches from the Atlantic Coast westward to the Great Plains of Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, East Texas, and the Dakotas. They can also be found in the Southern edges of Canada. For Winter, they will travel to Mexico and Central America.
Great Crested Flycatcher, Rock Cut State Park, IL; 6-13-12.
I followed the movements of this particular Great Crested (Above) for quite some time, as it would fly back and forth between 2-3 large Oak trees and then suddenly make a dive bomb to the ground (Below) going after some insects, and then return to its perch in one of the Oaks.
Great-crested Flycatcher, Rock Cut State Park, IL; 6-13-12.
Its combination of colors makes it one of our prettier Flycatchers with its olive back and crown, gray throat and breast, bright yellow belly, and rufous tail and wing edges.

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