The Territorial Kiskadees

One spring when our cousin Sandy was down visiting from San Antonio, she & my sister Dolores decided to go out and sun bathe in the backyard. Big mistake! Another pair of Kiskadee, whose nest was in a cottonwood tree, began their assault on the visiting girls. Taking turns, the birds began to swoop down, coming 1 foot from the girls' heads. As each bird ended its sortie, it would land on a low hanging power line in the yard and issue its shrill & sharp "wheep". This kept up for a few minutes before the girls got the message and went inside the house.

My husband & I have also been "advised" by our resident pair of Kiskadees that we are intruding in their territory. Though our long-term residents have never swooped down on our heads, they have followed us around in "their" section of the yard screeching madly, and flying to & fro, staying up in the trees around us the entire time. We realize that this is occurring because there are babies in the nest, or because we have been gone for an extended period of time.

After our vacation last year, our Kiskadees had a hostile reaction when we came home and walked around in the yard. Not recognizing us, they behaved as if we were a threat to them. But when we got back to our old routines, they did too.

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