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WILD Facts: Flycatchers on the fly
Flycatcher - photo by Photo provided.
If you hear an ascending “wheep” whistled from the treetops, a great crested flycatcher is nearby.
As its name suggests, this large songbird is one of nature’s pest controllers. Flies are only one kind of insect it catches. Other foods include beetles, wasps, bees, crickets, moths and caterpillars, plus fruits and berries. Rarely, flycatchers eat hummingbirds, too.  
Great crested flycatchers breed in eastern North America but migrate toward Central and South America every fall. Typical nest sites are hardwood tree cavities near clearings, although they sometimes use bird boxes in suitable habitat. Twigs, leaves, hair, feathers, snake skins and cellophane are common nest materials.
WILD Facts is a regular feature written by Linda May, a wildlife interpretive specialist with the Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division.
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