Gray Kingbird

Tyrannus dominicensis

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Tyrant Flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Code 4

GRAK

Code 6

TYRDOM

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Gray Kingbird is a passerine species which breeds in the southeastern United States, Central America, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the West Indies, Venezuela, Trinidad, Tobago, Guiana and Columbia. Populations in the north will migrate in winter months to the Caribbean coast of Central America and northern South America. Its natural habitat includes tall trees and shrubs, and it is commonly found along the edges of marshes and other wetlands. This species aggressively defends its territory against larger birds and mammals. Diets consist mostly of insects found on trees and the ground of their chosen habitat. The conservation rating for the Gray Kingbird is Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Gray Kingbird: Large flycatcher with gray upperparts, black mask, inconspicuous red crown patch, and mostly white underparts with pale yellow wash on belly and undertail coverts. Bill is long and black. Wings and notched tail are dark. Fluttering direct flight on shallow wing beats.

 

Range and Habitat

Gray Kingbird: This species breeds in coastal regions of South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, the northern edge of the Gulf coast, and the West Indies. Spends winters in the tropics of Central and South America. Preferred habitats include coastal areas, including mangrove thickets and small groves of palms or oaks.

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Gray Kingbird SONGS AND CALLS

Gray Kingbird NN1

Typical call is a harsh trill.

Gray Kingbird C1

Song is a high-pitched series of "pe-tee-CHEER-ry" notes.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"trii-ill-ill-it", "peCheer-ry"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Gray Kingbird is also know as a Pitirre.
  • These birds aggressively defend their territory against intruders, including mammals and much larger birds such as caracaras or hawks.
  • This phenomenon has propelled the pitirre into a national symbol (a sort of David vs. Goliath figure) that serves as a powerful and widespread nationalist symbol in Puerto Rico as well as a metaphor for the Puerto Rican Independence Movement.
  • A group of kingbirds are collectively known as a "coronation", "court", and "tyranny" of kingbirds.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Samira Belous

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Undertail covertsX
Small feathers that cover the areas where the retrices (tail feathers) attach to the rump.
UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
BellyX
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
CrownX
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X