Sunday, May 17, 2009

Great Kiskadee Takes a Sunday Afternoon Bath

The Great Kiskadee is a large, striking bird whose name is derived from its call which sounds very much like French for “What are you saying” ...”Quest-ceque dit,” or kis-ka-dee. The Great Kiskadee is found from Texas, USA to Argentina and lives in open woodlands, streamside thickets, groves, orchards and parks. In the tropics it occurs widely in many semi-open habitats, usually avoiding dense unbroken forest. It is a permanent resident throughout its range and does not migrate. Chances are you will hear this bird before you see it. During the heat of the day, while most birds are silent, the kiskadee will draw your attention by calling its name constantly while perched from a telephone wire or on a roof. This robin-sized bird is about ten inches in length. It has black and white stripes on the crown and sides of its head. It has a white line above its eyes. Its chest and undersides are a bright yellow and its throat is white. Its back and wings are brown and its bill and legs are black. Its bright pattern is unique in North America, but in the tropics several other flycatchers look almost identical.

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