The Great Kiskadee, Pitangus sulphuratus, is a passerine bird. It is a large tyrant flycatcher; sometimes its genus Pitangus is considered monotypic as the Lesser Kiskadee may be sparated in Philohydor.
It breeds in open woodland with some tall trees, including cultivation and around human habitation, from southern Texas and Mexico south to central Argentina, and on Trinidad. It was introduced to Bermuda in 1957, and to Tobago in about 1970.
Adult Great Kiskadees are 22 cm (8.7 in) long and weigh 63 g (2.2 oz). The head is black with a strong white eyestripe and a concealed yellow crown stripe. The upperparts are brown, and the wings and tail are brown with usually strong rufous fringes.
The black bill is short and thick. The similar Boat-billed Flycatcher (Megarynchus pitangua) has a massive black bill, an olive-brown back and very little rufous in the tail and wings. A few other tyrant flycatchers - some not very closely related - share a similar color pattern, but these species are markedly smaller.
The call is an exuberant BEE-tee-WEE, and gives the bird its name in different languages and countries: In Brazilian Portuguese the birds name is bem-te-vi ("I've spotted you!"[verification needed]). In Spanish-speaking countries it is often bien-te-veo, with a similar meaning, as in a Mexican name, luis bienteveo. In El Salvador it is know as Cristofue, and in Paraguay as pitogüé. In French it is called tyran quiquivi.
The song and call of the Great Kiskadee.
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A Great Kiskadee (right) mobs a hawk.
The Great Kiskadee is a common, noisy and conspicuous bird. It is aggressive, and will drive away larger birds entering its territory. It is almost omnivorous, and hunts like a shrike or flycatcher, waiting on an open perch high in a tree to sally out to catch insects in flight, or to pounce upon rodents and other small prey. It will also take prey and some fruit from vegetation by gleaning and jumping for it, and occasionally dives for fish in shallow water, making it one of the few fish-eating passerines. Such opportunistic feeding behavior makes it one of the commonest birds in urban areas around Latin America; its flashy belly and its shrill call make it one of the most conspicuous.
The nest, built by both sexes in a tree or telephone pole, is a ball of sticks with a side entrance. The typical clutch is two or three cream eggs lightly blotched with reddish brown. They are incubated by the female.
Not being appreciated as a song bird, the Great Kiskadee is not usually kept caged and therefore has escaped the depredations of poaching for the pet trade. Also, its feeding mostly on live prey makes it extremely difficult to keep in captivity.
Benteveo in Buenos Aires, Argentina
San Salvador (El Salvador)
Bathing in a fountain