English and Scientific names:

Great Kiskadee (Pitangus sulphuratus)

Number of individuals: 


Locality: LOUISIANA: 

Vermilion Parish, Louisiana

Specific Locality:

North of White Lake.  There is a pond along the north edge of a canal that runs along the northern edge of the waterfowl sanctuary.

Date(s) when observed:

17 November, 2006

Time(s) of day when observed:  


Reporting observer and address:

Erik I. Johnson

Youngsville, LA

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


Other observers who independently identified the bird(s)

none known

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

observed mainly from the south of the bird in morning light - ideal conditions

Optical equipment: 

Swarovski 10x42 EL

Distance to bird(s): 


Duration of observation:

30 min (heard and seen)


willow stand along a spoil bank surrounded by freshwater marsh

Behavior of bird: 

Both birds were calling single "keee" notes and giving the "Kis-ka-dee" call.  They were foraging together, sallying to grab tallow berries.


A single bird was first heard as I was struggling through a dense thicket of Rubus.  It didn't register at first, but I glanced up and saw a large bright yellow bird fly away from a Willow Tree about 50' away.  That is when the identification clicked.  This bird did not seem to be in the same direction as the calls I was hearing, so I was immediately suspicious of two birds.  I continued to hear intermittent calling about 500' away, but could not locate the birds because vegetation was thick.  I proceeded to walk in that direction along the spoil bank and finally saw both birds together.  At this point I was standing on the southern side of the pond looking to the NE.  Both birds were visible in the same binocular view and they were perched in the same tree.  They were bright yellow from the chest to undertail coverts and had the distinctive white and black stripes in the face.  The white stripe above the eye did not connect at the back of the head.  The back was brown, but the folded coverts, primaries, and secondaries were a rich rufous-brown.  The bill was noticably large; larger than a Great-crested Flycatcher (Myiarchus crinitus) but not as massive as a Boat-billed Flycatcher (Megarhynchus pitangua), which I have also seen in Costa Rica.  Based on the plumage pattern and voice, I am confident in my identification.


See above

Similar species:

See above.

Photographs or tape recordings obtained?


Previous experience with this species: 

I have observed this bird in one trip to south Texas and two trips to Costa Rica.  Because it is ubiquitous in these places, I am quite familiar with the calls and plumage of this species.

Identification aids:

at time of observation:
National Geographic Guide to North American 3rd ed.
after observation:

Sibley's Guide to North American Birds; A Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica (Stiles and Skutch)

This description is written from: 

notes taken at observation (majority); from memory - circumstances of locating the bird

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




Erik I. Johnson

Date and time: 

2115, 21 November, 2006