AUGUST 1, 2014 -
The Eastern Kingbird is the only widespread member of its
species in eastern US. It is common and easily found in
the summer, often observed perched on treetops or wires.
They can be found moving in flycatcher fashion to snag insects
in the air and returning to their perch. They winter in
South America, gathering in flocks in tropical forests.
Even their diet changes from primarily insects in the summer to
more berries and fruit in the winter.
Kingbirds are handsome birds with dark gray backs and wings, a
nearly black cap which reaches below the eye and covers the
cheek. The breast is pale gray, lightening into a nearly
white chin and underbelly. The 8.5-inch bird has wings
that are more narrow and pointed than other kingbirds. A
distinguishing field mark is the white band on the tip of the
Nest sites are generally in deciduous trees
or large shrubs, 7-30 feet above the ground. The female
completes most of the nest building, lays 3-4 pinkish white eggs
splotched with brown, lavender and gray, and incubates the egs
for 16-18 days. Both parents hunt for food for the
hatchlings. The young take their first flight at less than
3 weeks and may stay with their parents for another month.
Chuck Tague photographed this trio
of young Eastern Kingbirds on Black Point Drive in Merritt
Island NWR in August 2013.
Facts above were gathered from
The Sibley Guide to Birds by David Allen Sibley, Lives
of North American Birds by Kenn Kaufman.