South America: distributed from south-central Argentina (south of Neuquén, Rio Negro and Chubut), east of Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela to Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Uruguay, Paraguay and Brazil. Absent west of the Andes, with the exception of north-west Venezuela and north of Colombia, but wonderers have been recorded in north and central Chile. From sea-level to 3300m in Bolivia.
Central America: Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Belize and Panama. From sea-level up to 1800m. It has been absent from several areas (e.g. Valle del General, Costa Rica, southern Pacific) but had expanded its range aided by deforestation.
North America: Southern of Texas, where numbers have been increasing. Accidental in Arizona and Louisiana.
Distribution outside the Americas
Endemic to the Americas (North, Central and South America)
The Great Kiskadees is common along its range and occurs in an enormous variety of habitats, from sea-level to 3300m in Bolivia, but is usually absent from dense-unbroken forest and desert. It inhabits secondary forest, second-growth scrub, second-growth dry forest, arid lowland scrub, gallery forest, mangrove forest, grasslands with scattered trees, savannas, deciduous and mixed woodland. Seems to prefer habitats close to water since is particularly abundant close to ponds, marshes, rivers, streamside thickets, gallery forest and flooded areas. The Great Kiskadee had benefited from human expansion and is very common in human-disturbed areas such as parks, gardens, orchards, groves, hedgerows, towns, semi-open cultivated areas, pastures and man-made oasis.
According to Stozt et al. (1996), it inhabits the following zoogeographic regions: Pacific Arid slope, Gulf-Caribbean Slope, Northern and Central South American, Northern and Southern Amazonas, Atlantic Forest, Pampas and Patagonia.
The Great Kiskadee had expanded its range as a consequence of human disturbance; colonizing man-made oasis in deserts and mountain ranges and forest clearings in primary forests. As new areas are transformed, Great Kiskadees keeps expanding its range.
It has been effectively introduced in Bermuda in 1957 where is now common in suburban areas. It has also been recorded in Rio Negro and Chubut provinces (Argentina) where it has been historically absent. According to Fjejsa and Krabbe (1990) its presence in these provinces is due to introduction, not to range expansion.