Great crested flycatcher is a small bird with a very big name

Our Fine Feathered Friends

GREATCrested Photo by Bryan Stevens • A great crested flycatcher perches in the branches of a pine in South Carolina.

Knoxville resident Rebecca Boyd shared on Facebook on May 27 that she enjoyed seeing a new bird at her home. “Although the guide books say this is a common bird, this morning was the first time I’ve ever seen a great crested flycatcher,” she wrote on her post.

I congratulated her and asked if she heard the bird make its loud “wheep” call. Only one bird — the great crested flycatcher — produces that loud, whistled “wheep!” She reported that she did indeed hear the call, which helped her find the bird in a tree in her yard.

Many species of birds have been given puzzling common names, and this is certainly the case for the great crested flycatcher. This bird does indeed sport a raggedy crest. For a flycatcher, it…

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