21 February 2011

The Resilient Pitangus Sulphuratus

Do you recognize this proud feathered fellow on the left? If you tell me you've never seen such bird, and you live or have been to somewhere on this Planet, from the tropics to the equator lines, I will tell you that there is a strong possibility that at least one of this type has already seen you.

photo by Luis A. Florit

Pitangus sulphuratus, the bird's scientific name, derives from pitanga (surinam cherry) fruit and from its sulfur yellow belly color. It has a popular and onomatopoeic name in different languages and countries because of its exuberant BEE-tee-WEE call; in Portuguese: bem-te-vi (I saw you well), in Spanish: bien-te-veo (I see you well); in French: qu'est ce (what is...), in German: Schwefeltyrann (sulfur tyrant), in Japanese, in Russian and so on....Of course, in English, it's the great kiskadee.

The great kiskadee is a conspicuous bird. It is almost omnivorous and hunts like a shrike, or flycatcher, waiting on an open perch high in a tree to sally out to catch insects in flight, or to pounce upon rodents and similar small vertebrates. It will also take prey and some fruit from vegetation by gleaning and jumping for it or ripping it off in mid-hover, and occasionally dives for fish or tedpoles in shallow water; making it one of the few fishing passerines.

photos: Luiz Álvaro & Flavio Cruvinel

This alert and aggressive bird uses its strong
and maneuverable flight as a good effect when it feels annoyed by raptors. Even much larger birds are attacked by the great kiskadee; usually by diving down or zooming straight at them while they are in mid-air.

The great kiskadee is commonly used in the control
of invasive species and is of large importance for
sowing seeds in urban areas.

mobbing a hawk - Wikipedia

The bem-te-vi is the most popular bird in Brazil. Maybe all along Latin America, as well; for it can be seen in most biomes and urban sites. Also, its amazing adaptability seems to be an infinite source for scientists.

I personally have good experiences with bem-te-vis. One of them is for their having killed my problems with my circardian cycle.

Daylight saving time ended yesterday in many states of Brazil, and friends were commenting on the delight of an extra hour and how the change in the chronological clock always affects their biological ones. I know nothing about this anymore. Whether it is part of my karma or not, in the dense urban environment where I happen to live; no matter the season, disregarding the height of my window, from where everyday there's a stubborn 'dude' with a yellow belly, blowing his throat loudly, in mornings' first light. There he goes: bem-te-vi, bem-te-vi. The wise feathered fellow knows I like to watch the sunrise.....

No comments:

Post a Comment