Three Great Kiskadees were seen this past weekend about 15 miles from the western border of Minnesota. One would be outstanding. Three is almost impossible. Are observers certain? The bird — first just one, then three — was brought to the attention of members of the South Dakota Ornithologists’ Union, in attendance their its fall meeting in Brookings, 10 miles from the bird’s location. The meeting adjourned for a short field trip. 


Yes, they are certain. 


Two more kiskadees were found while looking for and watching the first bird. The birds are/were visiting two farms, feeding on flies (kiskadees are members of the flycatcher family). The farm owners had been watching one or more of the kiskadees for THREE months, realizing the species was unusual, but not knowing who to tell.


Kiskadees are birds with a northern range just touching the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. They are seen throughout Mexico. There are scattered reports of sightings outside of Texas. There are no reports other than this weekend’s for Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, or Iowa. The previous verified sighting nearest Minnesota was in Kansas.


The kiskadee below was photographed along the Caribbean shore in southern Mexico. It was about to swallow that crab. The bird is slightly larger than a Hairy Woodpecker. It's a small crab.