No bird has captured my heart quite like the Great Crested Flycatchers who first nested last year in the ramshackle birdhouse perched on a corner fencepost in a fairly busy spot in our yard. We cannot help but pass it frequently as it sits near our workshop/tool shed. The good thing about that is that the flycatchers have gotten so used to our comings and goings that we can come quite near, even when they’re home, before they fly away. The little house is quite the fixer-upper with cracks and missing shingles, but it doesn’t seem to bother them. Maybe they came for the view.
I spent considerable time watching them last year from a bench near their house, but haven’t had as much time lately for watchful and attentive pursuits. But I did spend about 45 minutes a few weeks ago watching them build their nest. I was hoping to see them bring in the snakeskin that flycatchers usually put near the entrance of their dwelling, possibly to scare off predators. I never got to see that, but I was impressed by the huge beakfulls of nesting materials that Mama Flycatcher managed.
Can you see why I find them so endearing? And I also love them for the way they cock their heads in a somewhat curious and quizzical manner:
The way they peek out of their house, like a cuckoo in a clock:
Their grace and beauty in flight—-like bird ballet:
Their neat housekeeping habits: here carrying away the bird equivalent of disposable diapers, fecal sacs:
The way the flycatcher’s crest sometimes looks like a rather silly wig:
And just because they sometimes make me laugh out loud for sheer joy and delight. That, alone, is sufficient.