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Monday, July 12, 2010

Eastern Kingbird

Eastern Kingbirds nest on the pond by our home.

They are large, dark flycatchers, note the white tip to their tail.

Mrs. Kingbird was incubating eggs in her nest built in a Buttonbush, right over the water.

While canoeing on our pond this weekend we came across nesting Eastern Kingbirds. They had built their nest in a Buttonbush shrub at the very edge of the water. Canoeists and fishermen passed by all day and the birds did not seem to mind. Kingbirds are cool birds and we love that several pairs nest on the pond in front of our home.

Eastern Kingbirds are large flycatchers, darting out from perches to catch insects. They breed in open areas, often near water, across the East and much of the West. Kingbirds have a territory of about an acre and will chase out larger birds, with the kingbirds diving at their back and chasing them much farther than the territorial boundary. We see this all the time. You don't want to mess with a kingbird, if you're another bird. The scientific name of Eastern Kingbird is Tyrannus tyrannus, so the joke goes that kingbirds are too tyrannical (two tyrannical).
Look for them when you go swimming, or boating this summer.

1 comment:

MCM Voices said...

I love these birds. I did my doctoral work on Tyrannus and discovered that many kingbird nests contain some eggs with a different mom from the one that's raising them - a "foreign" kingbird female will mate with a male, lay an egg in his nest and then leave!