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Lesser Kiskadee - BirdForum Opus

Subspecies P. l. lictor
Photo © by Joseph Morlan
Rio Amazonas, Iquitos, Peru, 9 June 2019
Philohydor lictor

Pitangus lictor


15–18 cm (6-7 in)
Bold black facial stripes, crown with large bright yellow coronal patch (semi-concealed), white eyebrows connecting or nearly so on nape, Long, narrow bill. Back and wings dark brown with faint rufous edgings on wings and tail. Bright yellow underparts. White throat.

Similar Species

Very similar to Great Kiskadee. Best told by smaller size, more slender body (lacks Great's robust, broad-shouldered look), proportionally longer and much narrower bill, and less rufous on wings and tail.

Subspecies P. l. panamensis
Photo © by Neil J. Larsen
Gamboa, Panama, 20 December 2007


Panama to northern Bolivia and southern Brazil. Also the Carribean lowlands of northern South America.


This is a polytypic species with two subspecies[1].
Placed in monotypic genus Philohydor by some authors.[2][5] following a recommendation by Lanyon (1984).


  • P. l. panamensis:
  • P. l. lictor:


Bushy vegetation, dead snags and stubs along shores of lakes, pools, lagoons, sluggish streams, and mangroves. Shares specialized habitat with Great Kiskadee but isn't found along more open, less vegitated banks of larger and faster flowing rivers where the Great Kiskadee is also found.



Nest is a simple cup completely unlike the large basket nest of the Great Kiskadee.


Insects. Usually forages from lower levels near water, not in canopy.


Its voice is a wheezy sneezing quee-be or dree, dear-wr, first note strongest and rising, 2nd and 3rd lower. Mutual display with fluttering wings and "wip wip wip you".


Probably resident.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2022. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2022. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. {{Ref-GillDonsker19V9.2}#Christidis et al. 2018. The Howard and Moore Complete Checklist of the Birds of the World, version 4.1 (Downloadable checklist). Accessed from https://www.howardandmoore.org.
  3. Lanyon, Wesley Edwin (1984). A phylogeny of the kingbirds and their allies. American Museum Novitates, Number 2797. New York: American Museum of Natural History. p. 23.
  4. Lesser Kiskadee (Pitangus lictor), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/leskis1
  5. Mobley, J. (2019). Lesser Kiskadee (Philohydor lictor). 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 https://www.hbw.com/node/57462 on 2 July 2019).

Recommended Citation

External Links

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