Great Kiskadee

Pitangus sulphuratus

Within the borders of the USA, we find the Great Kiskadee only in south Texas, but they range widely throughout most of the lands to the south, extending all the way to the southern South America. These bold and vocal birds are conspicuous where ever they roam, and their loud kiss-ka-dee calls resound whenever they are nearby. I met them almost as soon as I crossed into their territorial range in Del Rio (Texas), and they continued to entertain and to keep me company the entire time I was in southern Texas.

These birds are omnivorous, and observers believe both parents share the duties of feeding and caring for their young. Great Kiskadees are one of the largest of all flycatchers, and both parents will aggressively defend their nesting territory from intruders much larger than themselves.

Modern science divides the Great Kiskadee into ten subspecies.

  • P. s. texanus – lives in southern Texas and south to eastern Mexico
  • P. s. derbianus – lives in western Mexico
  • P. s. guatimalensis – lives in southeastern Mexico south to central Panama
  • P. s. rufipennis – lives in northern Colombia and northern Venezuela
  • P. s. caucensis – lives in western and southern Colombia
  • P. s. trinitatis – lives in eastern Colombia, southeastern Venezuela, northwestern Brazil, and Trinidad
  • P. s. sulphuratus – lives in the Guianas and northwestern and central Amazonian Brazil, southeastern Colombia and eastern Ecuador to southeastern Peru
  • P. s. maximiliani – lives in northeastern Bolivia and west-central Paraguay to eastern and southern Brazil
  • P. s. bolivianus – lives in central Bolivia
  • P. s. argentinus – lives in eastern Paraguay, southeastern Brazil, Uruguay and south to central Argentina

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