<< Previous Next >>

Tropical Kingbird

Tropical Kingbird
Photo Information
Copyright: Luis Vargas (Chiza) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 133 W: 0 N: 474] (5351)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-12-28
Categories: Birds
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/320 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2009-01-06 18:07
Viewed: 3918
Points: 6
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note [Spanish]
Tropical Kingbird
From Wikipedia

Tyrannus melancholicus

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Aves

Subclass: Neornithes

Infraclass: Neognathae

Superorder: Neoaves

Order: Passeriformes

Suborder: Tyranni

Infraorder: Tyrannides

Family: Tyrannidae

Genus: Tyrannus

Species: T. melancholicus

Binomial name
Tyrannus melancholicus
(Vieillot, 1819)
The Tropical Kingbird (Tyrannus melancholicus) is a large tyrant flycatcher. This bird breeds from southern Arizona and the lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas in the USA through Central America, South America as far as south as central Argentina and western Peru, and on Trinidad and Tobago. Birds from the northernmost and southern breeding areas migrate to warmer parts of the range after breeding.

Description and ecology

An adult sitting alert in Panama CityAn adult Tropical Kingbird is 22cm long and weighs 39g. The head is pale grey, with a darker eye mask, an orange crown stripe, and a heavy grey bill. The back is greyish-green, and the wing and forked tail are brown. The throat is pale grey, becoming olive on the breast, with the rest of the underparts being yellow. The sexes are similar, but young birds have pale buff edges on the wing coverts.

The call is a high-pitched twittering trill, tree-e-e-e-e-e-e, with a more complex version sung by the male at dawn.

Their breeding habitat is semi-open areas with trees and shrubs, including gardens and roadsides. Tropical Kingbirds like to observe their surroundings from a prominent open perch, usually high in a tree, undertaking long sally flights to acrobatically catch insects in mid-air, sometimes hovering to pick food off vegetation[1]. They also eat some fruit[2], foraging for these even in disturbed habitat. As they keep mainly to the upper levels of trees, they find little profit in following mixed-species feeding flocks in the understory[3].

These birds aggressively defend their territory against intruders, even much larger birds such as Magnificent Frigatebirds, toucans, caracaras or hawks. In a study in Parque Nacional de La Macarena of Colombia, parasitism by microfilariae and trypanosomas (presumably T. everetti) was infrequently recorded in Tropical Kindbirds[4].

They make a flimsy cup nest in a tree. The female incubates the typical clutch of two or three cream eggs, which are marked with reddish-brown, for 16 days, with about 18-19 further days to fledging.

Widespread, common and adapatable, the Tropical Kingbird is not considered a threatened species by the IUCN.[5]

rousettus has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

Hola Luis,
wonderful capture for very lovely and pretty Tropical Kingbird. Splendid coloration and focus. Eyes contact, POV and composition with rock great. Thanks for sharing this beauty. well done

  • Great 
  • zetu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 26 N: 3888] (16941)
  • [2009-01-06 22:37]

Hi Luis
Excellent capture, perfect focus, beautiful colors and good details. Well done.
Razvan Zinica

Witaj Luis,
super fotka!!!
Głębia ostrości i kolory oraz szczegóły upierzenia są doskonałe.
Podoba mi się też kompozycja zdjęcia.
Gratuluję bardzo dobrej fotki.

Calibration Check