Abstract Six hand-reared great kiskadees ( Pitangus sulphuratus) were given still and moving models of prey. Series A bore various combinations of eyes, tail, neck and motion; eyes and tail were the most strongly directing. Series B bore various colours and patterns, both as covering the whole model, and as covering only one-third (middle or end). The birds were not inhibited by any plain colour tested but strongly avoided patterns resembling coral snakes. Given sufficient contrast, kiskadees were attracted to the painted section of the partly painted models, regardless of location (middle or end). This attraction to the contrasting section, plus the directed responses to eyes, tail and motion, should allow kiskadees to take small vertebrates like lizards quickly and efficiently.