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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Brown-crested Flycatcher -- Myiarchus tyrannulus
(formerly Wied's Crested Flycatcher)


RANGE: Breeds from southeastern California, extreme southern Nevada, southwestern Utah, Arizona, and southwestern New Mexico south to Central America. Winters in Mexico and Central America; rarely in southern Florida.

STATUS: Fairly common.

HABITAT: Inhabits saguaro deserts, riparian deciduous woodlands, and shade trees in urban areas. In Texas, occurs in open woodlands of mesquite, hackberry, and ash; in Arizona, frequents cottonwood, willow, and sycamore woodlands.

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Natural tree cavities or abandoned woodpecker holes for nesting.

NEST: Builds nest in abandoned woodpecker holes in saguaro or in cavities in cottonwoods, sycamores, mesquite, or old fence posts 5 to 30 feet above the ground. Sometimes nests in bird houses.

FOOD: Probably eats beetles, other flying insects, and some wild berries and fruits; has been observed eating hummingbirds.

REFERENCES: Bent 1942, Gambona 1977, Oberholser 1974a, Phillips et al. 1964.


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