Great Kiskadee

The great kiskadee is a highly adaptable predator that can live in almost any habitat within its range and can hunt in the air, on the ground and in the water.
Great Kiskadee Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Pitangus sulphuratus
Great Kiskadee Physical Characteristics
Brown, Yellow, Black, White
50,000,000 – 100,000,000
At least 6 years, 11 months
1.8 to 2.5 ounces
Great Kiskadee Distribition

The great kiskadee is an extremely versatile killer that can live practically anywhere!

The great kiskadee is a brilliant and vivid bird acknowledged by its yellow tummy, red- brownish back, and black and white candy striped head. The kiskadee was called due to its distinct telephone call. Viewers explain it as seeming a great deal like kis- ka- dee, or bee- tee- wee. This flycatcher, among the biggest in the Tyrannidae family, exists throughout an increasing variety that covers a lot of South and Central America, components of Mexico and the much southerly part of Texas. It is additionally referred to as the bem- te- vi, benteveo or bienteveo via much of its Portuguese and Spanish talking variety.

Extraordinary Great Kiskadee Truths

  • The scientific name of the great kiskadee, Pitangus sulphuratus, describes its brilliant yellow tummy which is the shade of sulfur.
  • This bird is an astonishingly proficient seeker airborne, on the water and over the ground.
  • The great kiskadee varies from the lower kiskadee by its brief, tough costs, its stocky appearance, and its unique kis- ka- dee telephone call.
  • Male and female great kiskadees look alike.
  • These birds are hostile protectors of their region, handling various other birds consisting of raptors in midair battles.
  • The primary killer of the great kiskadee is the coral snake.

Where to Discover Great Kiskadees

Great kiskadees are extremely flexible birds. They are opportunistic omnivores that nest in all kind of environments, from forests and scrublands to open up meadows, farming areas and also very metropolitan locations. They live throughout much of South America, Central America, components of Mexico and right into the USA in much southerly Texas. Great kiskadees additionally frequently real-time near marshes and rivers, as they are equally as proficient at capturing target from the water as they impend.

Great Kiskadee Scientific Name

The great kiskadee’s scientific name is Pitangus sulphuratus Pitangus originates from the language of the aboriginal Tupi of Brazil and describes flycatcher. Sulphuratus describes the brilliant yellow sulfur- like shade of the bird’s bottom and hid crown plumes.

P. sulphuratus is the only species in the genus, which was appointed by the British conservationist, William Swainson, in 1827. Presently, a total amount of 10 subspecies of P. sulphuratus exist. French zoologist M. J. Brisson initially defined the species in 1760.

The lower kiskadee, Pitangus lictor, was additionally initially component of the Pitangus genus. It is extremely similar in appearance to the higher kiskadee, with noteworthy exemptions. It has a a lot longer and thinner costs and is a smaller sized and much more slim bird generally. In 1984, the much less usual lower kiskadee was transferred to the genus Philohydor, implying water caring. It was relabelled Philohydor lictor, although it is still described as Pitangus lictor in some resources.

Great Kiskadee Appearance

Two Great Kiskadee
These birds are hostile protectors of their region, handling various other birds consisting of raptors in midair battles.Wirestock Creators/Shutterstock. com

The great kiskadee is a brilliant and vivid bird. It was called for its most popular attribute, its brilliant yellow tummy the shade of sulfur. Its head is candy striped in black and white, with a white chin, thick shiner line, thick white superciliary line, and black on its crown. Those crown plumes conceal a key, however. Those black crown plumes hide a brilliant yellow crest. The great kiskadee elevates the yellow plumes up and sideways when it is upset.

This bird has abundant, red brownish or rufous tinted plumes on its back, wings, and tail. Its feet are glossy and black, and its black beak is brief and stout. The bird has actually been referred to as heavyset or stout. It has a huge head and a thick neck, and it is just one of the biggest of the Tyrannidae family of flycatchers. Both males and females of the species look similar,

Great Kiskadee Actions

The great kiskadee is not a migratory bird. It is a long-term local throughout its variety and is understood to combat boldy to keep its region. Both males and females protect their nests, and although the male does not breed the eggs or brood the nestlings, he is understood to remain nearby and proactively resist predators when the female gets on the nest.

This bird is significantly versatile, making its house in a wide range of environments. It does not appear to avoid staying in metropolitan locations near human populaces. As a matter of fact, it has actually been understood to make the most of its closeness to individuals, locating brand-new food resources and locations to construct its nests.

Pairs of great kiskadees take a number of days to make their nest, which they construct from dried out lawns and various other discovered fibers. They never ever recycle an old nest, however they might tear it apart for developing products. They are equally as most likely to abuse the nests of various other birds in or around their region, as well.


Great kiskadees are dexterous seekers, both airborne, on the ground and over the water. As flycatchers, their key target is, naturally, insects. They capture flying insects of all enters mid- air and can additionally capture various other birds and also bats on the wing. They take advantage of lizards, mice and earthbound insects and various other invertebrates. Great kiskadees additionally capture frogs and fish right from the water like kingfishers. They have actually also been seen snagging target straight from various other birds, such as the little blue heron.

These omnivorous birds are opportunistic feeders. They eat on berries, fruits and seeds, in some cases straight from individuals’s yards. The birds additionally in some cases take food from dogs’ bowls. They take eggs out of various other birds’ nests, consisting of those of various other kiskadees. Primarily, if they can eat it, they possibly will.

Great Kiskadee Reproduction

Great kiskadees create virginal sets. They construct their nests with each other, typically concerning 3 to 10 meters up in trees. They make their dome- designed nests of dried out yard and various other discovered fibers, with a side entry. When the nest is total, the female lays in between 2 to 5 eggs and breeds them on her very own. The male keeps close by, boldy protecting the nest and protecting the region throughout the incubation and brooding durations.

The great kiskadee has approximately 1 to 2 broods each year. Incubation takes in between 13 to 15 days, and the juveniles fledge concerning 17 to 18 days later on. Both moms and dads have a tendency to the nestlings, feeding them primarily insects and little frogs.


The coral snake is one of the most usual killer of the great kiskadee. Remarkably, scientists discovered that the bird identifies and prevents the color scheme of the coral snake without having actually come across the serpents prior to. Animal predators, additionally, consisting of primates like the marmoset, take advantage of kiskadees at the nest. So do various other sorts of serpents and lizards. Hawks or owls might additionally make efforts on the nest. Nonetheless, the great kiskadee is an awesome challenger airborne with its high ability to move and hostile nature.

Life-span of the Great Kiskadee

Scientists recognize little concerning the specifics of the great kiskadee life process after news leave the nest. The lengthiest living sampling on document, however, lived a minimum of 6 years, 11 months. With reasonably couple of predators and a raising population and variety, the risks to great kiskadees are most likely reduced. One well-known danger, nonetheless, is contamination. A 2009 research study in Argentina discovered that great kiskadees living around a lake with high degrees of hefty steel contamination had hazardous degrees of lead and cadmium in their body organs. As fish- consuming predators that live near rivers, kiskadees would likely be vulnerable to any type of sort of toxin that can build up in physical cells.

A Sign Of Things To Come

Researchers presented the great kiskadee on the island of Bermuda in 1957. Its objective was lowering the population of an additional presented species, the anole lizard. Sadly, the experiment was a calamity. The very versatile kiskadee discovered a choice for various other readily available food resources, consisting of the eggs of indigenous songbirds and vulnerable insect populaces. The timing of the great kiskadee’s intro on the island accompanied the termination of the Bermuda cicada in the 1950s. Some think predation by this bird might have been a contributing aspect.

Similar Animals

  • Great crested flycatcher – This yellow- bellied participant of the Tyrannidae family has a grey head, and ought to not be misinterpreted with the black and white candy striped head of the great kiskadee.
  • Vermilion flycatcher – This red and black flycatcher lives in both North and South America and is just one of the smaller sized flycatchers.
  • Lesser Kiskadee – Although the lower kiskadee was as soon as in the exact same genus as the great kiskadee, it was reclassified in 1984. It looks extremely similar, with the exemption of its lengthy, slim costs and even more slim body.


  1. Wiley Online Library / Journal of Field Ornithology / Erich Fischer,Roberto L. Munin,José M. Longo,Wagner Fischer,Paulo R. De Souza, Available here:
  2. Bio One Complete / Waterbirds / Emmanuel Moralez-Silva, Emygdio L. A. Monteiro-Filho, Available here:
  3. Publishing / Journal of Environmental Monitoring / Fabricio Damián Cid,abc Claudia Gatica-Sosa, Rosa Isabel Antónd and Enrique Caviedes-Vidal, Available here:

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