Common Name: Great Kiskadee
Range: The great kiskadee is available in open woodlands, groves, and streamside thickets orchards and easy to find parks. It can be seen in the open land and even in the heart of the city throughout Costa Rica and it is a most recognized bird in the country of Costa Rica. You can not find them in the deep forest. The great kiskadee are available from southern Texas to the south of Argentina. These Birds can easily be seen in the National parks and natural historical sanctuaries of Costa Rica.
Size: Great Kiskadees are 21-27cm long and weigh about 52-68 grams.
Weight: It is weighing from 52 to 68 grams (1.8 – 2.4 oz)
Diet: This is ardently omnivorous usually feeds insects like beetles, wasps, bees, grasshoppers, and moths. Although, it is a fly catcher but it also nipping seeds, berries, mice, frogs, fish and lizards. The great Kiskadee also make dives directly into the water to grab fish.
Average life span: The average life span a Great Kiskadees is 83 months in wild.
Habitat: The Great Kiskadee is a noisy and a non-forest species. You can find easily in the gardens and open areas in the whole Costa Rica. It can even be seen in the heart of the city. You will not be able to see this bird inside the forest since the natural habitat for this species of bird is in open vegetation. They are found along rivers usually and other types of water bodies. They are also available in vegetation and human-made habitats similar to the nature The Great Kiskadee is found in both dry and humid habitats from the lowlands to around 1,500 meters high in Costa Rica.
Breeding/Reproduction: Kiskadees are mainly monogamous. A male will make couple with one female only. Their mating season starts from late March. The nest is being built by both the sexes in a tree or a telephone pole. It resembles like a ball of sticks with a side entrance lined with soft materials like feathers and wool. The female lay two to five creamy with reddish brown dotted eggs in a nest that is made of sticks, moss, grass and bark. They are incubated by the female. Both defend their nesting area and take care for their youngs.
The Great Kiskadee is the most common and familiar birds in Costa Rica. You may not have look long for these birds as it shout out to get attention with loud vocalizations. They shout out its name repeatedly “Kiskadee! Kiskadee!” from a tree tops, tops of houses and telephone poles. It is fun to see in Costa Rica.
They can be easily found as in the day time when sun shines, other birds are mostly quiet at that time but they still call their name loudly. They are found in gardens and in all other open places of Costa Rica. They are found in humid as well as dry places.
They have a black head with brown wings and a brown tail while its lower area is yellow. They have a strong white stripe on their heads. These birds are commonly found in Costa Rica and are quite noisy birds. They are easily identified as they call out their name again and again. They have been named after their noise.
Their family is flycatcher but they are different from other flycatchers in appearance as well as in habits. They eat flying birds but unlike other flycatchers they also feed on small insects and lizards on the trees. They also eat fish. These behaviors distinguish them from other flycatchers. They make a specific noise before capturing a prey, this noise is like a clear threat to the prey and it shows their strength.
They hunt individually and may also hunt in the form of pairs. They know the best methods of hunting that is why they are able to hunt many large birds.
The Great Kiskadees have the quality of attacking much larger birds than them. They are quite unique in this behavior. Attacking a larger bird is not an easy job.
The Great Kiskadee is not considered a threatened species as people are not interested in hunting them because they contain toxins in their bodies. Also because they are adoptable, they can live in different places. They do not require many conditions to live.
They cannot be kept in cages as they eat live birds. They first hunt their prey and then eat them otherwise they will not eat. So they can’t be kept as pets.
Their natural habitats are all open areas where long trees can be found. Great Kiskadees breed in open woodland with some tall trees. Mating season starts from late March or April. The males have only one female to mate with. Mating results in 2-5 creamy white and brown eggs.
They are great in defending their nest and offspring. They are able to protect them from snakes as well.
They have their nest in the dense branches of the trees. Their nests are made up of sticks, grass and other plant fibers. Nests usually have a single hole to enter; this is because of safety purposes. This hole is lined with wool or feathers or any other soft material.
Both of the parents take part in protecting their nests and offspring. They are quite responsible. They feed their young ones and take it as their duty.
Coral snake is worst enemy of Great Kiskadee and they always try to stay away from it and even they stay away from the things which are somehow similar to them in appearance.