Everytime I go to Mexico I love seeing Great Kiskadees. They’re beautiful birds, and they’re always calling, it seems, so you always know they’re around. But there are other species of flycatchers that look very much like them.
The Social Flycatcher has a smaller bill and a slightly different facial pattern. I’ve seen those in Mexico a lot too. Boat-billed Flycatchers have much larger bills, and I saw my first in Costa Rica this past May (I’ve been wanting to do a post like this for some time, but I’ve wanted to wait until I actually saw a Boat-billed Flycatcher.
And there’s one more I can add here, the Gray-capped Flycatcher. This flycatcher has a grayer head, so it’s a bit easier to separate from the others, but still, they look pretty similar.
Interestingly, only the Gray-capped and Social Flycatchers belong to the same genus. The other two are in different genera. And yet Social Flycatchers are far more easy to distinguish from Gray-capped then they are the other two.
However, I bet if you were given blackened profile shots of all four birds, it would be easy to distinguish all these birds by size and structure except for Social and Gray-capped.
There are two more species that have this similar look that I didn’t see (Rusty-margined and White-winged), but they are found in areas of Costa Rica that I wasn’t able to visit.