Eastern Kingbird

Adults are grey-black on the upperparts with light underparts; they have a long black tail with a white end and long pointed wings. They have a red patch on their crown, seldom seen. They are of average size for a kingbird, at 19-23 cm , 33-38 cm across the wings and weighing 33-55 g .

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The Eastern Kingbird is classified as Least Concern. Does not qualify for a more at risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category.

Habitat: Contrary to its name, the eastern kingbird can be seen in the skies throughout North America as well as in the Amazon. This bird enjoys open areas during breeding season, but in winter will make its home along rivers and lakes. Nesting: Three to five heavily spotted, creamy white eggs form the clutch. Eastern kingbirds construct large bulky nests using twigs, straw, twine, and lined with hair and other soft material. Nests are located on the horizontal limbs of trees. More

North American RangeThe Eastern Kingbird is gray-black above and white below. Its most distinctive field mark is the white band at the tip of its black tail. Like other flycatchers it maintains an upright posture. It has a small patch of red feathers in its crown that can only be seen when it displays. More

The Eastern Kingbird, Tyrannus tyrannus, is a large Tyrant flycatcher. Adults are grey-black on the upperparts with light underparts; they have a long black tail with a white end and long pointed wings. They have a red patch on their crown, seldom seen. They are of average size for a kingbird, at 19-23 cm (7.5-9 in), 33-38 cm (13-15 in) across the wings and weighing 33-55 g (1.2-1.9 oz). More

The Eastern Kingbird is among the easiest of American birds to identify, being gray to black above with a clear white breast, and a tail with a prominent white band across its tip. Kingbirds are well known for their aggressive nature. The Latin word Tyrannus means "tyrant, despot or king", referring to their aggressive defense of nests and mates, and their domination of other birds. More

The Eastern Kingbird has a large range, estimated globally at 9,100,000 square kilometers. It is native to the nations of North America as well as Central America and much of South America and prefers forest, shrubland, and wetlands ecosystems, though it has been known to reside in rural and urban areas. The global population of this bird is estimated to be 13,000,000 individuals and it does not appear to meet population decline criteria that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. More

The pugnacious Eastern Kingbird, though only 8" in length, displays great fury and agility in chasing any large bird that enters its nesting territory. Whether behaving in a threatening manner or merely travelling through the Eastern Kingbird’s breeding area, a bird as large as a hawk or crow will be driven off. Eastern Kingbird Defensive Techniques The small bird is known to ride on the intruder’s back and peck at its head. More

The attractive Eastern Kingbird is gray-black above and white below, with a white band at the tip of its tail. Its crown has a small patch of red feathers that is not often seen. The two sexes look much the same, juveniles are similar but a bit paler, and the winds have a buff edge. The male crown feathers will more often show a crest. Like other birds in the flycatcher family, he sits with an upright posture. More

Eastern Kingbird Range MapView dynamic map of eBird sightings Field MarksHelp - * AdultPopOutZoom In Adult * © Michael J. Hopiak/CLO * AdultPopOutZoom In Adult * Bright yellow-orange crown patch is rarely visible * © E. J. More

Some Eastern Kingbirds place their nests in the open while others hide nests very well. Eastern Kingbirds in Southern British Columbia can nest in open fields; in shrubs over open water; high in tall trees and even in the tops of small stumps. It has been shown that those pairs that hide their nests well tend to be less aggressive towards intruders near the nest (perhaps relying on nest cover), while pairs that nest in the open tend to be more overtly aggressive to intruders. More

Eastern Kingbird Distribution / Habitat: The Eastern Kingbird, Tyrannus tyrannus - a large Tyrant flycatcher - can be found in the open areas across North America and migrate in flocks to South America. Nesting / Breeding: They make a sturdy cup nest in a tree or shrub, sometimes on top of a stump or pole. These birds aggressively defend their territory, even against much larger birds. More

A most unusual nesting site for the eastern kingbird is reported, in a letter to Mr. Bent, by Capt. H. L. Harllee, of Florence, S. C. This pair of birds built a nest and laid a set of eggs in a gourd that was suspended from a pole at the edge of a yard in Beaufort County. More

Bent Life History for the Eastern Kingbird - the common name and sub-species reflect the nomenclature in use at the time the description was written. More

Eastern Kingbird Information Length: 8 - 9" Habitat: Open areas with scattered trees, forest edges, orchards, brushy edges of fields, roadsides; shrubby areas near streams, ponds, and lakes. Requires habitat with open spaces for flycatching and trees for nesting. Eastern Kingbird Photo © Mike Danzenbaker Click to enlarge Diet: Mostly insects, including beetles, flies, wasps, bees, and flying ants; also, wild fruits and berries. More

Rosche (1979) found the eastern kingbird in the lower North Platte River Valley during 6 May to 11 September. Breeding Range: A common nesting species in the Platte River Valley, Eastern Plain and Dissected Plain physiographic regions. Uncommon and more local during the nesting season in the Sandhills (where limited by the availability of nest sites), and on the Western Plain. Breeding Population: The population in 1979-1980 was estimated at 65,000 nesting pairs. More

Eastern Kingbird - Western Kingbird - Great Crested Flycatcher - Eastern Phoebe - Yellow-bellied Flycatcher - Acadian Flycatcher - Willow Flycatcher - Alder Flycatcher - Least Flycatcher - Eastern Wood Pewee - Olive-sided Flycatcher - Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus) Status: Regular migrant and nesting species. Migration: Common migrant throughout the Valley. More

Eastern Kingbird is a host of the Brown-headed Cowbird, but Kingbird recognizes Cowbird’s eggs and destroys them, breaking the membrane, causing the egg to dry and die. Courtship displays include flights at about 15 to 20 feet from the ground. Kingbird flies out from a tree top, flying upwards, flying and hovering alternatively. Then, with wings just quivering, it slowly drops almost to the ground, accompanied by a high-pitched, squeaky and tremulous voice “ki-ki-ki…”. More

The Eastern Kingbird is a member of the Flycatcher family, a small group of birds most often observed perched on exposed twigs and branches. It is from these perches that they are seen darting forth to snap up passing insects. Save for an occasional jerk of the tail they appear much less nervous than other small birds, in fact, the Eastern Kingbird usually sits quite motionless. The will also feed on berries which they deftly pluck while in flight. More

Order : Passeriformes
Family : Tyrannidae
Genus : Tyrannus
Species : tyrannus
Authority : (Linnaeus, 1758)