Tyrannus verticalis
(Western Kingbird)


Order: Passeriformes
Order Description: Passerines
Family: Tyrannidae
Family Description: Tyrant Flycatchers

Physical Description:
8-9" (20-23 cm). Gray head with black bill, eye-stripe and eye; whitish back and breast; orange-yellow belly; dusky wings; black tail with white outer feathers.

Similar Species- Eastern, Cassin's, and Tropical kingbirds.

Song:
A squeaky twit-twit tchery-ity-it.

Distribution:
Breeds from southwestern Canada, south to northern Baja California, northwestern mainland of Mexico and west-central Texas, and east to northwestern Ohio (rarely to Missouri). Winters mainly from Mexico, south to Costa Rica, and in small numbers in coastal southeastern United States.

Habitat:
Found in open and partly- open country, especially savannas, agricultural lands, and areas with scattered trees. May also be found in deserts.

Diet:
Primarily insectivorousClick word for definition (eats wasps, beetles, moths, caterpillars, grasshoppers, and true bugs). Will also eat spiders, millipedes, and some fruits. May accasionally take tree frogs.

Ecology:
Feeds in air or on ground. Builds cup-shaped nest in tree, usually near trunk. Two or more pairs may nest in same tree. May drive hawks, crows, and jays away from nest.

Reproduction:
clutchClick word for definition size varies from 3-5 eggs, but is often 4. Incubation lasts 12-14 days. Nestlings are tended by both parents. Reproductive success is positively correlated with insect abundance.

Conservation:
Element Code: ABPAE52050
Status: Protected nongame species
Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5,NTMB
National Rank: N5B

Important State References:
No references are available at this time.


Design by Ean Harker©1999, 2000.
Written by Jason Karl, 2000.