EASTERN KINGBIRD

EASTERN KINGBIRD (Tyrannus tyrannus)

The Eastern kingbird is a flycatcher that breeds and hunts in fields. It perches atop posts or trees from which it can see its prey, insects that it catches on the fly. It is then possible to hear the bill snapping.

The Latin name ‘tyrannus’ means tyrant or king. The bird got this name from the fact that it will aggressively chase away other eastern kingbirds from its territory and also protect its nest by pursuing any larger bird that will come too close. This behavior increases its success at raising young.

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. When perched it has an upright posture. Sexes are similar and the juveniles have duller colors. They are around 20 cm long (9 in.).

Eastern kingbirds breed in PEI and are fairly common. They migrate to the forests of South America, where their behavior is very different – they gather in large groups and eat fruits.

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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