Bird Families

Great crested flycatcher, or crested yellow-bellied tyrant Myiarchus crinitus


Do you believe the existence of poisonous birds? I don't think so. And they are! In general, in Latin, the bird is called "Pitohui", but to avoid conflicts with Yandex, we will call it Pitohui. Although this is what it is generally called.

Description and where does pitohui live

The two-colored thrush flycatcher (one of the names of this bird) lives exclusively in the wilds of the forests of New Guinea. Due to living in hard-to-reach places, these birds have been studied very little. Therefore, there will be very little information about it.

These birds rarely grow more than twenty-five centimeters, and their weight rarely reaches five hundred grams.


Great crested flycatcher, or yellow-bellied crested tyrant (Myiarchus crinitus) breeds in eastern North America from Canada to Texas and California, and winters in southern Florida, Mexico, Central and South America. Some populations living in southern Forida and Cuba are sedentary. It inhabits sparse forests, is often found on forest edges, and does not avoid urbanized areas.


This is a rather large flycatcher, reaching a length of 18-22 cm and weighing up to 34 g. Its head, painted in a dark gray color, seems to be quite large (in comparison with body size), but here is the crest, from which this bird got its name is not particularly noticeable. But flycatchers have a strong thick beak and a rather long tail.


These noisy and noticeable birds often coexist with people who wait for their arrival in the spring and prepare artificial nests for them. If the latter are not enough, crested tyrants hatch their chicks in old woodpecker hollows, in holes in all kinds of pillars, as well as in other closed cavities of natural or artificial origin. Usually large crested flycatchers nest in deciduous or mixed forests. Males during the breeding season are territorial and actively defend their areas, which they often use for several years in a row. The Great Crested Flycatcher, as well as some of its relatives, which also locate their nests in closed shelters, are known for their tendency to use dry skins dropped by snakes during molting for lining their nests. At one time it was believed that thereby tyrants protect themselves from the attacks of real snakes, however, in recent years it has been established that birds are no less willing to fill their nests with a variety of plastic materials. Both parents are usually looking for a nest site, but only the female builds the nest. She uses a wide variety of building materials for this: leaves, feathers, wool, grass, tree bark, human hair and snake skins. In a clutch of a crested flycatcher, there are from 4 to 8 (usually 5) eggs. Only the female incubates them for 13-15 days. After hatching of chicks, the male helps her to remove empty shells and feces of chicks, and also actively participates in feeding them with insects. Chicks fledge 13-15 days after hatching, but for about 3 more weeks they stay with their parents, who continue to feed and protect them.


Great Crested Flycatcher predominantly insectivorous and usually catches insects in the air, rarely finds them on the ground. In addition, these birds feed on a variety of fruits and berries. Most often, they hunt high in the crowns of trees, higher than many other insectivorous birds. Their victims are most often butterflies, beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, bees and wasps, flies and spiders.

What does the bicolor thrush flycatcher eat?

The main diet of pito is all kinds of insects. And they consume plant food only as a last resort, if there is a deficiency with the main delicacy.

Is the pito poisonous

Yes, this bird is actually impregnated with a fairly potent poison. Moreover, this poison is ten times more dangerous than strychnine. To understand how poisonous they are, I will give an example. The poison that is stored in one such bird is enough to bring about eight hundred mice to the grave at once.

If suddenly you manage to catch this frisky bird, in no case do not take it with your bare hands. Burning and numbness are guaranteed, and possibly poisoning! She is not capable of killing a person, but problems cannot be avoided for sure. For local predators, an attempt to feast on this bird leads to only one result.

Where does the bird get its poison? In the forests, where the blackbird flycatcher lives, there is a species of beetles "melirida", so they produce this dangerous poison. And the birds, being immune to this poison, eat them without any problems. Thus, regularly accumulating poison inside and outside the body.

View status

Although the population of these birds is not very large, because of their venomous appearance, people and predators are not interested in them and the pito is still out of danger. The only thing that can threaten them is deforestation. But this is still far from it.

Valasyanitsa-white (early - Mukhalok-white)

Galina Tsmyg, Gomel

Brest region - western and eastern parts

Gomel region - all

Grodno region - extreme south

Minsk region - extreme south

Mogilev region - central, western and southern parts

Flycatcher family - Muscicapidae.

In Belarus - F. a. albicollis.

Breeding migrant and transit migratory bird. Distributed in the southern and (less) in the eastern parts of Belarus. It nests, apparently, only in the southern half of Belarus, in suitable places (in Polesie) it can be quite common, but in general it is quite rare.

Irina Gruzdilovich, Gomel

In size, color of plumage and demeanor, it looks like a pied flycatcher (especially females). The males in plumage color are very similar to the most contrastingly colored pied flycatcher males, but differ in the white color of the nape and back of the neck and the presence of a white "mirror" on the primary flight feathers. The female is similar to the female pied flycatcher, but, unlike her, also has a small white spot on the primary flight feathers. Male weight 10-15 g, female 12-17 g. Body length (both sexes) 13-14 cm, wingspan 22-25 cm. Male wing length 8 cm, tail 5-5.5 cm, tarsus 1.6- 2 cm, beak 1 cm. Female wing length 7.5-8 cm, tail 5 cm, tarsus 1.7-1.8 cm, beak 1 cm.

In habits it is similar to a pied flycatcher. The song is rather short and simple, it begins with loud whistles "siy-siy-siy-siy-tyu-si", ends more slowly than that of a pestle.

Gennady Ardyuk, Zhitkovichi district (Gomel region)

Arrives in the southwestern region in late April - early May.

Inhabits tall deciduous, rarely mixed coniferous-deciduous forests. Preference is given to broad-leaved stands: oak-hornbeam and oak-alder, as well as oak forests with an admixture of various broad-leaved species - ash, elm, maple, aspen. Sometimes found in pine-oak forests. In the southeast of the Gomel region. also lives in pine forests with single deciduous trees. In some regions neighboring Belarus, where it is more common, it willingly populates various mixed plantings and even clean pine forests, as well as a cultural landscape. Selects forest areas with well-developed undergrowth near clearings, forest roads, forest edges and other illuminated places. It often adheres to forest ravines.

Natalia Kaporikova, Loshitsky Park, Minsk

It nests in separate pairs, although in optimal habitats (hornbeam oak forests) it can form small clusters, where nests are sometimes located at a distance of 20-25 m from one another (in a number of such cases, two closely spaced nests are "served" by one male, i.e. polygamy).

The nest is always arranged in a hollow, using for this purpose various natural rotted voids and crevices in tree trunks, stumps, often quite open hollows with a large entrance hole. The nesting height usually does not exceed 2-3 m, sometimes it reaches 5 m or more (mainly in cases when the nest is arranged in woodpecker hollows or in artificial nests). The nest itself consists of dry tree leaves, grass stalks, bast, a tray - of various plant rags, thin bast fibers, a small amount of animal hair. The depth of the tray is 3 cm, the diameter is 5.5 cm.

In a full clutch there are 5-6 eggs, but it is possible that there may be 4 or 8. They are pale blue, practically do not differ from the eggs of the pied flycatcher. Egg weight 1.7 g, length 14-21 mm, diameter 12-14 mm.

The bird starts laying eggs in the second half of May - early June. The female incubates the clutch very densely, even in fairly wide holes, where the nest is more accessible to the enemy. Incubation lasts 12-13 days, chicks stay in the nest for 13-14 days.

Departure and passage takes place in September.

It feeds on small insects and spiders, which it pecks from tree branches or catches them on the fly, sometimes it feeds on the ground.

Natalia Kaporikova, Loshitsky Park, Minsk

The number in Belarus was estimated at 3-5 thousand pairs. The population trend is stable. However, according to the latest data, the number is already estimated at 5-15 thousand pairs. The population density in optimal habitats - oak forests (NP "Pripyatsky", NP "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", Britsalovichskaya Pushcha, oak forests of Rechitsky, Svetlogorsk districts) is 2-5 pairs per 10 hectares.

The white collar flycatcher is included in the Red Book of the Republic of Belarus, IV category of protection. The main threat factor is the reduction in the area of ​​old-growth broad-leaved forests as a result of the intensification of felling.

The maximum age registered in Europe is 9 years 10 months.

Natalia Kaporikova, Loshitsky Park, Minsk

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