Great-crested Flycatcher

Great-crested flycatcher
Photo: Inge Curtis

Flycatchers are allies of those who loath mosquitoes and blackflies without spraying their yards. This handsome bird is found east of a north-south line splitting the North American continent in half, and projected to lose western territory and perhaps gain some in Canada from climate warming.

Since the related Eastern Phoebe flicks its wings like common flycatchers in Europe I wondered if other tyrant flycatchers, including this Great, behave similarly. Apparently not. I can’t explain the nervous twitching, evidently not strictly linked with flycatcher habitat or habits.

Perhaps, like me, you wonder where the name ‘tyrant’ comes from for American flycatchers. I can’t explain that either, except to say the distinguished Irish naturalist Nicholas Vigors coined the family name Tyrannidae.