Friday, June 22, 2012

Great Kiskadee

During our March road-trip, Erika and I listed Great Kiskadees across much of the Rio Grand Valley. We did not get a decent photograph until our last day at the Salinero bird feeders. Found through most of Central and South America, kiskadees in the United States are found only in southern-most Texas. Their range in southern Texas is expanding.

Kiskadees flycatch for large insects, but also consume a broader range of prey than any other flycatcher--fish, tadpoles, fruits--even rice and dog food (Brush and Fitzpatrick 2002). Hence their presence at bird feeders. Kiskadees are aggressive, and will harass monkeys, raptors, toucans or snakes. They are noisy birds. We heard them before we saw them at Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge. They exclaim, "kiskadee!", thus explaining their name.

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