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Great kiskadee (Sept.29)

  • Published Sunday, Sep. 29, 2013, at 9:02 a.m.

Pitangus sulphuratus

Possibly the biggest thing to hit the Kansas birding world is the appearance of a great kiskadee at McPherson State Fishing Lake about two weeks ago. It’s only the second recorded time one of the robin-sized birds has been found in Kansas. The other was in far southwestern Kansas more than 15 years ago.

Great kiskadees are fairly common along the Rio Grande Valley of extreme southern Texas. Even Oklahoma only has two records of the large fly-catchers.

The central Kansas bird was found by a local fisherman who had seen and heard the bird while in south Texas. Up to a dozen or more birders, some of whom have driven several hours, were at the lake at once, wanting to add the species to their Kansas life list.

Kiskadees don’t migrate, so there’s no easy explanation how the wayward bird with the vibrant yellow markings made it to central Kansas. It’s also not known how long it will stay. Those viewing the bird report it’s finding plenty of flying insects for feeding.

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