English and Scientific names:

Great Kiskadee (Pitangus sulphuratus texanus)

Number of individuals: 

2 adults (pair) in worn plumage (abraded flight feathers and rectrices)

Locality: LOUISIANA: 

Cameron Parish

Specific Locality:

Nunez Woods, nr. Rockefeller SWR, Grand Chenier

Date(s) when observed:

13, 18 May 2009

Time(s) of day when observed:  

~4:00 – 6:00 PM CDT on 5/13, 5:00 – 5:30 PM CDT on 5/18 

Reporting observer and address:

Devin Bosler

Lancaster, PA

Other observers accompanying reporter who also identified the bird(s):

E.J. Raynor (on 18 May 2009)

Other observers who independently identified the bird(s)

Steve Cardiff, Donna Dittmann (first discovered the nesting pair on 2 May 2009), m. ob.

Light conditions (position of bird in relation to shade and to direction and amount of light):

Partly cloudy on 5/13 and clear sky on 5/18.  Optimal late afternoon sunlight on both days.  Sun angle relatively high and backlighting not a factor.


Optical equipment: 

Zeiss Victory FL 8x42, Nikon Fieldscope w/ 20-60x optical zoom, Canon Powershot SD 1100 IS (equipment in good condition)

Distance to bird(s): 

within ca. 10-15 meters

Duration of observation:

Altogether, 15-20 min. (about 2.5 total hrs spent at location)


Mature, coastal chenier woodlot near old airstrip and surrounded by freshwater and brackish marshes.  Live oak-honeylocust-hackberry dominated woodlot with primarily eastern baccharis and palmetto understory.

Behavior of bird: 

Both adults were observed in flight, at rest, and preening.  On 5/13, one adult flew in from the S at 4:45 PM and second bird gave a series of ‘crear’ calls near nest site.  Otherwise, the birds were very inconspicuous and inactive.  Virtually no activity seen around the nest itself.  On 5/18, both adults were observed at nest site and apparent female entered the nest.  The presumed male perched high in the canopy nearby and preened; guarding the nest site.  Again, both adults were very silent and called infrequently when coming or going from nest.  Presumably the female was still incubating at this point, as there was no food-carrying, etc. observed.



Very large, robust flycatcher with striking yellow, black, rufous, and white plumage.  Brownish upperparts with extensive rufous in wings and tail.  Bright, lemon yellow underparts with white throat and sides of neck.  Black crown surrounded by white and yellowish crown patch.  Broad black stripe across face bordered by pure white on either side.  Massive black bill.  Dark brown irides.  Blackish tarsus and feet. 


Nest - a large, bulky dome-shaped structure with a side entrance built in fork of tall live oak about 35’ up from ground.  Nest made of primarily Spanish moss and twigs.



Loud, distinctive ‘crear’.  Only given sporadically on a few occasions.

Similar species:

No similar tyrannids occurring in N.A.  Social Flycatcher (SOFL) can be ruled out by body and bill size, overall structure, and vocalizations.

Photographs or tape recordings obtained?

Yes, digiscoped photos by Devin Bosler.  Yes, attached.

Previous experience with this species: 

Very familiar with GKIS from Panama, TX, and two previous encounters in LA.  One individual at private pond in Quail Ridge Subdivision, Slidell (St. Tammany Parish) on 1 Feb 2007.  Second individual off S. Talen’s Landing Road, ca. 6 mi. S of LA-14 (Klondike) in extreme ne. Cameron Parish on 15 Nov 2008.

Identification aids:

National Geographic Complete Birds of N.A. (Alderfer et al. 2005).

This description is written from: 

notes made during the observation, notes made after the observation, memory.

Are you positive of your identification? If not, explain: 


Yes, very positive.


Devin Bosler 

Date and time: 

20 June 2009    9:30 PM EDT