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The Great Kiskadee

3 January 2013 No Comment

The Great Kiskadee (Pitangus sulphuratus) is a large striking bird whose name is derived from its call which sounds very much like French for “What are you saying” …”Quest-ceque dit,” or kis-ka-dee.

The Great Kiskadee is found from Texas, USA to Argentina and is common in Bermuda, where it was introduced in the 1950s. The Great Kiskadee lives in open woodlands, streamside thickets, groves, orchards and parks. In the tropics it occurs widely in many semi-open habitats, usually avoiding dense unbroken forest. It is a permanent resident throughout its range and does not migrate.

Chances are you will hear this bird before you see it. During the heat of the day, while most birds are silent, the kiskadee will draw your attention by calling its name constantly while perched from a telephone wire or on a roof. This robin-sized bird is about ten inches in length. It has black and white stripes on the crown and sides of its head. It has a white line above its eyes. Its chest and undersides are a bright yellow and its throat is white. Its back and wings are brown and its bill and legs are black. Its bright pattern is unique in North America, but in the tropics several other flycatchers look almost identical.

The Courtship Behavior of the Great Kiskadee is explained by Naturalist Guide David Juarez


There are several different types of courtship rituals that bird species can use for finding a mate. Most species will use several methods, but they can vary greatly between different birds.

Singing, dancing, preening, feeding and building are some of the methods used.

One morning while looking through my window, I got the opportunity to observe the courtship behavior of the Great kiskadee.

As a Naturalist Guide at the Lodge at Chaa Creek and birdwatching being one of my favorite activity, I  got so excited that I had to take some shots of this display to share with you all.

It was so amazing to see how several male kiskadees will come together and display their brightly colored crest for the females. After taking several shots I managed to snap the above picture where a male kiskadee came very close to a female and started to flaps it wings, making some lovely songs and raising its brightly colored crest. What a display! This was one of the most amazing mornings!


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