Western Kingbird

Tyrannus verticalis




Tyrant Flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

White, marked with brown, lavender and black

Number of Eggs:

3 - 7

Incubation Days:

18 - 19

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

8 - 40 feet above ground.

Nest Material:

Grass, weeds, twigs, plant fibers, lined with finer materials, including plant down and cotton.





Western Kingbird: Large flycatcher with gray upperparts, darker head, white throat and upper breast, and yellow lower breast and belly. Wings are brown. Tail is black with white edges. Sexes are similar.

Range and Habitat

Western Kingbird: Breeds throughout the west, from southern Canada south to northern Mexico, and from the Pacific coast east to the Great Plains. Regular fall migrant on the Atlantic coast and winters in the tropics. Preferred habitats include open country such as ranches, roadsides, streams, and ponds with trees.

Breeding and Nesting

Western Kingbird: Three to seven white eggs marked with brown, lavender and black, are laid in a stick nest lined with plant fibers and built in a tree or bush. Incubation ranges from 18 to 19 days and is carried out by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Western Kingbird: Diet consists of insects and berries. Catches and feeds on insects while making long sallies over open fields.

Readily Eats

Meal Worms


Western Kingbird: Song is a loud, sharp "kit" and various chattering notes.

Similar Species

Western Kingbird: Cassin's Kingbird is darker gray and has a different call. Couch's and Tropical Kingbirds have thicker, longer bills and darker upperparts.

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
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.
The upper front part of a bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X