Will Great Crested Flycatchers Use Trio Grandpa?

Welcome to the internet's gathering place for Purple Martin enthusiasts
Post Reply


I tried to search and received an error. But then I also read that the forum was hit by a worm. That stinks...so much very helpful infomation lost. Thanks for the hard work in getting the forum back up Admins!

I noticed great crested flycatchers checking out the Trio Grandpa (the site is at my parent's place). I was excited until I learned this morning that it is not a good idea to let other birds nest in the housing if purple martins have not "moved in".

I did have a pair of martins that returned to nest for this third year, but before they laid eggs a starling stepped in. I'm not sure the Trio Grandpa's floor is low enough for their liking -- I read on another site that they require 1" drop from hole to floor.

My Questions:

[1] Has anyone had great crested flycatchers use their Trio Grandpa housing?

[2] I would love to have GCF use my housing, but not the housing meant for the martins. I'm putting up a box in hopes the GCF will use it. Can anyone tell me how far I should place it from the Puple Martin house?

Thank you for any responses!

Hi, Birdbrain,

1) Yes, it is a bad idea to let any species other than PM nest in your martin housing. When you are trying to start a colony, you are aiming for the SY or Second Year birds. These young, inexperienced birds are less committed to your set-up than adult ASY birds with "site fidelity" and so are easily intimidated by any other birds who want the same house.

2) Great crested flycatchers can be attracted to man-made nest boxes. The Birdhouse Network (Cornell Lab of Ornithology) [link: http://www.birds.cornell.edu/birdhouse/ ... index.html ] recomends houses be placed on a post at the edge of a deciduous or mixed woods, 3 to 20 ft high, and that the nest box have a 1 9/16" round hole. Cathy Brouse has built GCF housing; hopefully she will answer you with more details on providing houses for GCF.

Good luck with cavity nesting birds of all types!

I checked the martin house yesterday. The great-crested flycatchers have not started a nest, so I plugged up the entrance holes. I did see the flycatchers at the house again. And a couple hours later a young martin perched on top.

I have a nestbox built for the flycatchers and am working on the details of how far it needs to be from the martin housing and bluebird nestboxes. Also, some mounting issues.

I have a question about the martins. I know there are no guarantees here, but will the second year martins typically return to the house for inspection and possible nesting next season, even though it is now closed up?

I also had a pair of flycatchers interested in my martin housing - large natural gourds on a gourd rack. I hung a big gourd just for them about 10 feet up in a small popcorn tree about 30 feet away, and they began setting up house in it the next day.
Post Reply