Tropical Kingbird

Tyrannus melancholicus




Tyrant Flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Buff or pink with brown and purple marks

Number of Eggs:

3 - 5

Incubation Days:

15 - 16

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

In tree., 8 - 20 feet above ground.

Nest Material:

Twigs, grasses, stems, bark, plant fibers., Lined with moss, horsehair, and other fine materials.





Tropical Kingbird: Large flycatcher with olive-gray upperparts, gray head, inconspicuous orange crown patch, pale throat, dark eye patch, and dark upper breast. Wings and tail are brown. Sexes are similar. Juvenile is browner.

Range and Habitat

Tropical Kingbird: Breeds in extreme southeastern Arizona into northern Mexico and along the Rio Grande River valley. Spends winters south of U.S.-Mexico border, especially along coastal regions, but also wanders widely, very rarely to Pacific coast. Preferred habitats include woodland borders, savannas, and riverside groves.

Breeding and Nesting

Tropical Kingbird: Three to five buff or pink eggs with brown and purple markings are laid in a nest made of twigs, grass, stems, bark, and plant fibers, lined with plant down, moss, horsehair, and other fine materials, and built 8 to 20 feet above the ground on a tree branch. Incubation ranges from 15 to 16 days and is carried out by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Tropical Kingbird: Eats insects, fruits, and berries. Hunts from conspicuous, often high perches; sometimes forages on the ground.

Readily Eats

Meal Worms


Tropical Kingbird: Song is a series of liquid trills. Call is a "tere-ee-ee, tril-il-il-iil-l", "tre-e-e-e-eip", or "pip-pip-pip-pip."

Similar Species

Tropical Kingbird: Couch's Kingbird has different call and usually separate range. Western and Cassin's kingbirds lack dark cheeks and have less-forked tails. Cassin's Kingbird also has a darker breast, and Western Kingbird has white outer tail feathers. Thick-billed Kingbird usually has whiter underparts and darker head. Brown-crested, Ash-throated and Dusky-capped flycatchers have darker, browner crowns, and unforked tails.

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The upper front part of a bird.
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