The noisy, but welcomed, great-crested flycatcher

Photo by Chris Bosak  A great-crested flycatcher perches on a branch at Merganser Lake in Danbury, Conn., spring 2017.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A great-crested flycatcher perches on a branch at Merganser Lake in Danbury, Conn., spring 2017.

At times, nature’s noises are dominated by this average-sized bird: the great-crested flycatcher. While it is easy to hear this bird and its “CREEEEP” call, it is not always easy to spot it. It is larger than sparrows and warblers, but still tough to find as it tends to hang out high in trees among the leaves. It is a beautiful bird, but doesn’t have flashy colors like the red of a scarlet tanager that makes it pop. But when you do find it, preferably through binoculars for a good look, you see it’s a handsome bird with soft browns and yellows.

Their habit of hanging out among the leaves makes them difficult to photograph as well. I was lucky in that two were flying back and forth, perhaps building a nest, and using this one dead branch as a lookout area before continuing on. So, of course, I climbed onto the roof to get a little closer to the branch and waited. It didn’t take long before one landed there, let out a big “CREEEEP” and took off. They have other songs and calls, but that’s the one I typically hear. I grabbed a few shots of that bird and when it took off, I left the roof, too. If they were indeed building a nest, I certainly didn’t want to stand in their way.

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