EASTERN KINGBIRD

EASTERN KINGBIRD (Tyrannus tyrannus) – (See images below)
DESCRIPTION: The Eastern Kingbird has a large black head, a grey back and grey wings, and white under parts. The tail end is square and has a white band. The bill, eyes and legs are black. When perched it has an upright posture. Sexes are similar and the juveniles have duller colors. They are around 20 cm long (9 inches).
VOICE: https://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Tyrannus-tyrannus
NAME: The Latin genus and species name ‘Tyrannus’ means ‘tyrant’ or ‘king’.
HABITAT: Open spaces such as fields, along forest edges, wetlands.
DIET: Insects caught on the fly. It is then possible to hear the bill snapping. This bird perches atop posts or trees until a prey comes by. Eat berries when available, especially in the winter.
NESTING: Kingbirds will aggressively chase away otherbirds from its territory, and also protect its nest by pursuing any larger bird that comes too close. The nest is built in a tree or shrub. Between two and six light pink eggs are laid, incubated by the female. Chicks are fed by both parents.  This bird is able to remove eggs from the parasitic Brown-headed Cowbird from its nest.
DISTRIBUTION: Breeding range covers the southern half of Canada and most of the USA except the southwest. They migrate to the forests of Central America and the north west part of South America.
DISTRIBUTION MAP: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_kingbird#/media/File:Tyrannus_tyrannus_distribution_map.png
ON PEI: Eastern kingbirds breed on Prince Edward Island and are fairly common.
CONSERVATION: Some population declines due to loss of habitat and vehicle strikes (as the birds often hunt near roads), but not enough to justify listing the species as ‘at risk’ at the present time.
NOTES: The eastern kingbird is part of the Flycatcher family. On their wintering grounds these birds gather in large groups.
SIMILAR SPECIES: Eastern Wood Pewee, Eastern Phoebe
REFERENCES: https://www.borealbirds.org/bird/eastern-kingbird
https://www.mba-aom.ca/jsp/toc.jsp (Maritimes Breeding Bird Atlas)
https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Eastern_Kingbird/id
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_kingbird
https://identify.whatbird.com/obj/589/_/Eastern_Kingbird.aspx
https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/eastern-kingbird
https://nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/eastern-kingbird (Missouri Department of Conservation)

Eastern kingbird - North Rustico, PEI - July 11, 2016 - by Matt Beardsley
Eastern kingbird – North Rustico, PEI – July 11, 2016 – by Matt Beardsley
Eastern kingbird - June 18, 2017 - © Matt Beardsley
Eastern kingbird – June 18, 2017 – © Matt Beardsley

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