Sunbathing Great Crested Flycatcher

On a sunny, breezy afternoon, a Great Crested Flycatcher greeted the first day of June by coming to the deck for a sunbath. Last summer a pair of Great Crested Flycatchers came regularly to soak up the sun, almost every day around the middle of the day, on the warm wood of the deck. I don’t know if this is one of the same pair, but hope we might see them often again this year.

Great Crested Flycatchers are often in the trees around our house and yard, we hear their calls and see them often – and in a couple of other areas of the neighborhood, too. A Great Crested Flycatcher was one of the first birds I saw when we moved here twelve years ago, and they have continued to be one of our most characteristic and familiar summer birds, as well as one of the most impressive and interesting. Its frequent rolling calls of Breet or Whreep come often from the treetops, more frequently heard than seen. But when seen – it’s a large, very handsome, active and colorful bird, with yellow belly, big gray head, and long cinnamon-colored tail, and cinnamon in the wings.

With its love of large deciduous trees, open woodlands, creeks and park-like areas, and a tolerance for fragmented forest, woodland edges and suburban habitat, a Great Crested Flycatcher may be the emblematic bird of this place.

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