Great Kiskadee

Great Kiskadees (Pitangus sulphuratus) are large, noisy flycatchers found in open, partly forested areas from Texas to Argentina. This Great Kiskadee was a regular around Las Caletas Lodge in Costa Rica.

Great Kiskadee (Pitangus sulphuratus)

These common, tropical flycatchers are named for their large size and repeated squeaky "Kiskadee!" calls. Great Kiskadees are yellow below and rufous above with a black crown, a broad, black eye-stripe, a white stripe over the eye, a white throat, and an often partly concealed yellow crown spot.

Great Kiskadee (Pitangus sulphuratus)

Like other tyrant flycatchers (family Tyrannidae), Great Kiskadees have "whiskers" around the base of their beaks that help funnel flying insects into their mouths. However, Great Kiskadees are not content with merely capturing flying insects, and these adaptable, omnivorous birds will also eat spiders, earthworms, fish (which they capture like a kingfisher), tadpoles, frogs, lizards, small snakes (they avoid poisonous coral snakes), mice, fruit, seeds, berries, and even the eggs and young of other birds.

Not only have Great Kiskadees been seen raiding the nests of other birds for food, they may also steal the nest itself and incorporate it whole into their own bigger, untidy, roofed nests.