Eastern Kingbird

Eastern Kingbird

Eastern Kingbird
(Tyrannus tyrannus)

Order:  Passeriformes
Family:  Tyrannidae

Photo by Reago & McClarren [CC 2.0]

Eastern Kingbird Information

Length:  8 - 9"

Habitat:  Open areas with scattered trees, forest edges, orchards, brushy edges of fields, roadsides; shrubby areas near streams, ponds, and lakes. Requires habitat with open spaces for flycatching and trees for nesting.

Diet:  Mostly insects, including beetles, flies, wasps, bees, and flying ants; also, wild fruits and berries.

  Songs and calls of the Eastern Kingbird

Additional Information

Eastern Kingbird
Habitat, diet, feeding behavior, nesting, migration, and conservation status of this bird. Includes range map, photos, and songs and calls. (From Audubon Field Guide)

Eastern Kingbird

Eastern Kingbird

© Mike Danzenbaker

Eastern Kingbird
Identification Tips

  • Large head
  • Often feeds by flying out to catch insects and then returning to the same perch
  • Often perches in an exposed location, for example, the very top of a tree or on a fence
  • Frequents open habitats: agricultural areas and streams
  • Black tail with white terminal band
  • Blackish upperparts
  • Whitish underparts
  • Red crown patch rarely visible
  • Upperparts browner than adult

(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)

Breeding Bird Survey Map,

Eastern Kingbird Breeding Map

(Image credit: USGS)

Range in New England

The Eastern Kingbird breeds throughout New England. This bird winters in South America.

Breeding Range Map from eBird

Sightings of the Eastern Kingbird May-July over past 10 years (2009-2019)

Christmas Bird Count Map
Historical CBC Map from USGS