Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Great Kiskadee (Pitangus sulphuratus)


French: Tyran quiquivi German: Schwefelmaskentyrann Spanish: Bienteveo común

[Lanius] sulphuratus


, 1766,



Populations in Amazonia, including slightly larger birds of SE Colombia and the Guianas, may be better represented as a single race (nominate), owing to lack of clear distinctions and to existence of gradual clines of increasing wing length N & S of Amazon that are not correlated with any observed colour differences; formal revision, including genetic survey, needed. Ten subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. s. texanus van Rossem, 1940 – extreme S USA (lower Rio Grande) and E Mexico (S to C Veracruz).
  • P. s. derbianus (Kaup, 1852) – W Mexico (Sonora S to Isthmus of Tehuantepec).
  • P. s. guatimalensis (Lafresnaye, 1852) – SE Mexico (S Veracruz, E Oaxaca, Chiapas, Tabasco, and Yucatán Peninsula), Guatemala, Belize and El Salvador S to C Panama.
  • P. s. rufipennis (Lafresnaye, 1851) – N Colombia (Caribbean coast and lower Magdalena Valley), N & C Venezuela (E to W Sucre and W Monagas, S to N Amazonas and N Bolívar).
  • P. s. caucensis Chapman, 1914 – NC & WC Colombia (Córdoba to SW Bolívar, R Cauca and upper R Magdalena).
  • P. s. trinitatis Hellmayr, 1906 – E Colombia (R Meta), S & E Venezuela (Amazonas, and E Sucre S to Orinoco Delta and E Bolívar) and NW Brazil (R Surumú and R Cotinga); also Patos I and Trinidad.
  • P. s. sulphuratus (Linnaeus, 1766) – the Guianas, N Brazil (S to Amazon, E to Amapá and Marajó I), and E of Andes from SE Colombia and E Ecuador S to SE Peru.
  • P. s. maximiliani (Cabanis & Heine, 1860) – #RE & S Brazil (Maranhão and Piauí S to Mato Grosso, Goiás and Santa Catarina), N & E Bolivia and W Paraguay.
  • P. s. bolivianus (Lafresnaye, 1852) – E Andean slopes of Bolivia (Cochabamba S to Tarija).
  • P. s. argentinus Todd, 1952 – Argentina (S to E Mendoza, Córdoba and NE Chubut), E Paraguay, extreme SE Brazil (Rio Grande do Sul) and Uruguay.
  • Descriptive notes

    20·5–23·5 cm; 53–71·5 g, 40–75 g (bolivianus), 42·5–65 g (argentinus), 53–59 g (trinitatis... read more


    Quite vocal and rather noisy; variety of loud calls, the most common “kiss-ka-dee”,... read more


    Wide variety of habitats, including busy residential and even urbanized areas, semi-open cultivated... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet extremely variable, mainly insects and fruit, but also small vertebrates, including nestlings of smaller birds, fish, lizards, snakes... read more


    Feb–Jun, occasionally Oct, in Mexico; in Colombia, nestlings in Feb and Apr–May (Santa Marta), nest-building in Mar (Leticia)... read more


    Not well known; thought to be resident in most of range. Apparently leaves higher elevations and... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common to very common. Estimated global population c. 20,000,000 individuals. Has apparently increased in both range and abundance as a result of... read more

    Recommended citation

    Mobley, J. (2020). Great Kiskadee (Pitangus sulphuratus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 24 January 2020).