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The Neighborhood Watchman: The Great Kiskadee

May 30, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 169

The Great Kiskadee is a part of the Tyrant Flycatcher family, one of the largest avian families in the world. As with many birds in the Tyrant family the Kiskadee has a fairly large range from southern Texas all the way down to Argentina in South America. Kiskadees are not afraid of populated areas and are common in the urban areas of Belize, Central America.

A Kiskadee can grow to be as long as 11 inches from head to tail however, it only weighs about 2.4 ounces. With distinctive markings. which are very bold, the Kiskadees' head is black with a strong white eye-stripe and a concealed yellow crown-stripe. The wings on a Great Kiskadee are a brownish color and the chest is a very bright yellow. The Kiskadees' markings are almost a cross between a Black Capped Chickadee and a wild Yellow Finch.

Always on high alert and very aggressive towards other predatory birds the Kiskadee is often known to stand ground against much larger raptor birds, even defensively attacking them directly. Even if the Kiskadee is not in direct danger it is likely to let out loud warning calls when raptors are in the area, alerting other prey, making all of them hard to hunt. Most predators will stay away from a Kiskadee or a Kiskadee pair, as their hunting will almost certainly be a waste of time and energy because of the loud warning calls the Kiskadee sends out.

The Kiskadee is omnivorous and will eat fruits and seeds however, as a part of the Tyrant Flycatcher family, it also eats insects, small rodents, lizards and other small vertebrates. Due to its' size the Great Kiskadee is also a fisher, one of the few in its' family, catching and eating small fish and tadpoles by diving into the water. The Kiskadee is known to hunt both alone and in pairs.

The Kiskadee, although a very loud and noisy bird, is not considered a song bird. Without the song bird status the Great Kiskadee has been spared life in the pet trade. Because it is not used in the pet trade the Kiskadee has a very good conservation status of "Least Concern."

Both male and female Kiskadees build their nests, with an ideal location being located high in a tree or at the top of a utility pole. Kiskadee nests are made of sticks shaped in the form of a ball with an entrance on the side. Great Kiskadees can mate for years at a time, though lifetime partnerships are very uncommon. Most clutches contain two or three cream to reddish-brown eggs. Only the female is relegated the task of egg incubation.

Anthony Benjamin, an avid writer, world traveler and a great lover of nature. He would like for you to check-out his latest book: http://www.amazon.com/Belize-Wildlife-Barrier-Fishing-ebook/dp/B007E2SFNQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1336140932&sr=8-1

Source: EzineArticles
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