30 May, 2010

Belize Bird of the Week #4 – Great Kiskadee, Pitangus sulphuratus

The Great Kiskadee is a very common bird throughout Belize. Its range extends from Texas to the north down through Uruguay and Argentina to the south. Each morning, the kiskadees woke us up with their calls that, to me, sound like “Christopher! Christopher!” It is in the tyrant flycatcher group, and at our place in Belize is the largest of the flycatchers.

Kiskadees are handsome birds with very striking white bands just above their eyes and a black mask that extends from the beak back across the eyes.  The one in the photo below posed for me high up in a Cercropia tree right across from our back veranda.

The view of this kiskadee from below shows that the undersides are bright yellow.

The edges of the wings and tail have a cinnamon color that distinguishes it from the broad billed kiskadee.

The great kiskadees are very active, social birds that are comfortable around humans. One of their favorite places to nest is at the downspouts of rain gutters. Here is one bringing additional material to its nest on our cabana.

Kiskadees often sit in a favorite tree and fly out to catch insects. Here one is sitting in our tamarind tree in between forays for flying insects.

You sure don’t want to be the insect getting this bird’s scrutiny! Be sure to click to enlarge for maximum effect!


  1. Lovely colourful bird Wilma and you got some good shots of it.

  2. Hi Wilma! These are very good pictures of the Kiskadee, and to have one nest right in your cabana must give you hours of pleasure just watching it.
    I love the photo of it in flight as you can see the yellow colouring extends under the wing. Very nice!

  3. Good shots and great info!

  4. That`s one smart looking bird Wilma and some great shots to compliment it.

  5. It's certainly a very interesting bird, Wilma. I like the colours - it looks very tropical.

  6. What a handsome bird. Beautiful colours.

  7. Lovely muted warm colours above and so yellow below. Any chance of a tropical storm affecting the nest Wilma?

  8. A very striking bird, Wilma, such lovely colouring. We don't have anything quite like it here!


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