Information about the Eastern Kingbird
It is the Eastern Kingbird that is easily observed and recognized in the habitats with open spaces it enjoys due to its black-and-white body and black-tipped white tail that gives its appearance as if it were wearing a formal evening gown. Similar to other royalty species, it is also a “king” bird that is also sporting an eagle-like crown, an orange-reddish patch on its head. it flashes in mating displays or defense. The patch, however, is seldom seen by those who observe.
“Bold”, as well as “fearless”, are two words that are often used by birdwatchers to refer to the daring Eastern Kingbird. The big flycatcher is part of the tyrant flycatcher clan that is a vast collection comprising New World species that includes the Great Crested Flycatcher, Many-colored Rush-Tyrant as well as Ochraceous Attila.In a crowd of birds that are known for their aggressive nature, this Eastern Kingbird stands out.
Looking for a Fight
It is believed that the Eastern Kingbird truly deserves its Latin name of Tyrannus Tyrannus. In its breeding areas, it is often observed chasing and attacking larger birds, like The Red-tailed Hawk and Great Blue Heron who make the error of flying over its territory. The frenzied flycatcher is recognized for knocking bigger birds from their perches, especially heavier breeding Blue Jays. Texas Birds
Music and Sounds
While both female and male Eastern Kingbirds sing but males tend to be more vocal. Male kingbirds sing”dawn song “dawn songs” during the early morning hours, or in the evening hours before sunset. This is a complex symphony of high-pitched, sputtering sound and the buzzy Zeer note, repeated several times.
Both genders make a variety of metallic-sounding, stuttering calls as they interact and defend their nest. Additionally, Eastern Kingbirds may audibly make a snap when threatened by the nest.
Male Eastern Kingbird woos his mate by displaying elaborate flight patterns and flashes of his brilliant crown patch. The pair will usually stay together over time, sometimes returning to the same areas. While the pair is socially monogamous
, the possibility of mating in pairs is possible and the chicks of one brood could have different fathers. Eastern Kingbird populations are typically more males than females which means that a female kingbird usually has more than one partner in her lifetime.
The female usually builds her very large
, cup-shaped, nest in a tree, a bit off the horizontal branch. It can also nest within cavities or human-made structures too. The female builds her nest using twigs, plants, and occasionally synthetic materials like plastic or string to construct her nest. She then covers the inside using soft grasses as well as animal hair prior to laying a clutch of three or five eggs.
The clutch is incubated for between 16 and 18 days, with her mate watching over her to protect the nest and her territory. If the nest is spooked by a Brown-headed Cowbird or, in rare cases another kingbird female identifies and removes the egg of the invader.
In its breeding season it Eastern Kingbird feeds heavily on big insects, such as moths, beetles, wasps and dragonflies. Sometimes, it will also eat other live prey, such as small rodents and frogs as well as some fruits. Adults and nestlings eat small pieces of chitin that are indigestible an elastic substance found in arthropod exoskeletons.