Kingbird

KingbirdKingbird — The genus Tyrannus is a group of large insect-eating birds in the Tyrant flycatcher family Tyrannidae bird order Passeriformes. The majority are named as Kingbirds.

The kingbird comprises the genus Tyrannus of the New World family, Trannidae, known as tyrant flycatchers. Despite their relatively small size, kingbirds are boldly aggressive against intruders, especially birds of prey. They measure 20-24 cm (8-9.5 in) in length and are brown- or gray-backed birds with white or yellowish undersides and gray heads. Some have a small crown spot of bright red, which is usually concealed. The eastern kingbird, T. tyrannus, has a dark gray beck, a white underside, and a white band on its tail’s tip. During the summer it ranges throughout the northern United States east of the Rocky Mountains to central Canada. It winters in tropical South America. In the Midwest its range overlaps that of the western kingbird (T. verticalis), which has a lighter gray back and yellow underside and has white on the sides of its tail. This bird winters in Central America, primarily Mexico.

They prefer semi-open or open areas. These birds wait on an exposed perch and then catch insects in flight. They have long pointed wings and large broad bills.

These birds tend to defend their breeding territories aggressively, often chasing away much larger birds. The genus name means “tyrant”.

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