Kidadl

Amaze-wing Eastern Kingbird Facts You Won't Believe

Contents

 

The Eastern Kingbird is one of the most interesting bird species in North America! Though they are native to the north, they usually travel to the south for breeding and raising their young. This is because while their bodies are unaffected by the cold, the insects move much faster in warmer weather which results in the decline of the functional response curve (it shifts down). With their white and black color and a red patch on their head, there is nothing these hardy birds can not handle. They are usually found perching on treetops and leafless trees, munching on insects, looking after their young, or roosting in their nests. But before you try to approach these adorable birds, beware; they are very aggressive creatures, and will not hesitate to attack if you get too close to their homes or their insects.

While we talk about these wonderful creatures, let us not mistake them for the Eastern Phoebe and other similar species either. One of the most marked differences between the Eastern Kingbird and Eastern Phoebe is mainly the size. The latter are smaller in size, with more white shaded wings. They also do not enjoy sitting on high branches and bob their tail when moving. Interesting, right? Keep reading to find out more facts about this small, aggressive, and migratory species.

Want to know more? Then check out the kestrel bird and purple finch. Happy reading!
 

Eastern Kingbird Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an Eastern Kingbird?

The Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus) is a type of bird.

What class of animal does an Eastern Kingbird belong to?

The Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus) belongs to the bird class.

How many Eastern Kingbirds are there in the world?

There are approximately 27 million Eastern Kingbirds (order Passeriformes) in the world as of 2018.

Where does an Eastern Kingbird live?

The Eastern Kingbirds (order Passeriformes) are most popularly found in the woods or the savanna, depending on where they are in their migration cycle. They prefer the woods in the summer months but will travel to the warmer savannas when winter strikes.

What is an Eastern Kingbird's habitat?

The Eastern Kingbirds live in open habitats such as forest edges, with tall, scattered trees, free pastures, and space to move and fly. They will always be found on a high perch since they get most of their food in the forest. One of the native birds of North America, they spend their winter in South America and summers in North American territories.

Who do Eastern Kingbirds live with?

The Eastern Kingbirds mostly lead solitary lives. They can be found in their natural habitat in the forest usually on a perch on the top of a tree. It helps stay safe from predators and other enemies like the Blue Jays.

How long does an Eastern Kingbird live?

The Eastern Kingbirds live between 7-10 years.

How do they reproduce?

The Eastern Kingbirds breed with one another to reproduce. The male will set up a nest hidden away from sight and invite the females to mate with him. If the females like the male and his nests, the bird will mate with him and lay eggs in his nest. These eggs take approximately one month to hatch.

What is their conservation status?

The IUCN Red List marks Eastern Kingbirds as Least Concern.

Eastern Kingbird Fun Facts

What do Eastern Kingbirds look like?

The Eastern Kingbird is a small, energetic bird. They have a dark gray upper body and a white shade in their underbelly. They have pointed wings, a straight beak, and sharp claws. The males are marginally larger than the females, and both sexes possess an impressive wingspan for their ability. The young of this species are usually a lighter gray in color, which becomes darker as they grow older. The female will also have lighter tones of gray than the male.  

These beautiful Eastern Kingbirds are gray on top and white underneath.

How cute are they?

The Eastern Kingbirds are incredibly cute! They are very small, fluffy, and some of the most adorable birds around. However, they are also very aggressive and will probably not interact with humans.

How do they communicate?

One of the unique characteristics of this species is its communication. They have a very high-pitched trill as a means to communicate. It's a buzzing type of sound, and ornithologists in the past have described it as an 'electric fence.' These sounds can become more intense in the breeding season. Breeding season is when we can see the males call out for the females and impress them with their nest-building skills. Often called the 'Eastern Kingbird Song,' this call is anything but musical.

How big is an Eastern Kingbird?

This species is about 7.5–9.1 in, about half as big as the Eastern Phoebe. This is why the females and the males have to defend the eggs together.

How fast can an Eastern Kingbird fly?

There are no solid numbers on how fast this species can fly. However, while we may not know their speed just yet, it is well known that they are endurance fliers. This means that they can fly for long distances without getting tired. This is a must for the Eastern Kingbirds breed since they have to migrate and travel to South America.

How much does an Eastern Kingbird weigh?

This species weighs around 1.2–1.9 oz. This gives them the perfect weight to move quickly and capture insects as they fly. This lightweight is also essential for the young, who do not know how to fly well and can see their weight as a hindrance.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There is no particular name for the male and female of the species. However, you will notice that the male is slightly bigger than the female and will usually have a larger wingspan.

What would you call a baby Eastern Kingbird?

There is no specific name for the baby of this species. They are born approximately one month after the breeding season passes and are born in the South, where the birds have set up their wintering grounds. The young animals have to develop the skills to fly rapidly since they only have a few months before traveling back to the north.

What do they eat?

This species primarily eats insects. They perch on high trees waiting for smaller, flying insects to fly by so they can capture them before they move past them. In wintertime, they will also eat berries and other smaller fruits. However, this is in sporadic cases. It has been suggested that up to 85% of their diet is insects and that vegetation is consumed only if there is nothing else to have.

Are they dangerous?

No, these North American birds are not dangerous at all. The only creatures they are dangerous for are the insects that they enjoy eating. However, this species is not very friendly towards others, especially humans. Therefore, if you approach them (especially during breeding seasons or when the young are in the nest), they can attack you.

Would they make a good pet?

These North American birds are migratory in nature and require some particular conditions to live. This is one reason that, despite being so common, it is recommended that you do not adopt/shop for these birds. Their habitat and lifestyle are ill-suited to life indoors, particularly during the breeding season, when males become aggressive, and the female may require extra care. In addition, if their migratory cycles get disrupted, they may suffer additional health issues. Overall, it is recommended that you look towards other birds that are more suited to living indoors, and are friendly towards humans.

Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.

Did you know...

The scientific name for these birds is Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus), meaning tyrant. They are referred to as such because of their aggressive nature and inability to adjust to similar bird species. This also helps them keep nest predators away. Nest predators are birds who will steal the nests of any other species and lay their eggs in them. Species like the Blue Jays, Ravens, and other similar species will often attempt it.

How to attract Eastern Kingbirds

There is no specific strategy to attract this bird. They are brilliant and able to differentiate between a human-made call and a natural call. So producing mating sounds, or sounds of a fellow bird will likely get you ignored. The best way to attract them is to create something as similar to their habitat as possible.

They will sometimes visit open yeards with trees close to them. Therefore, if you want this bird to perch on your trees, make sure the surrounding area is clear, with plenty of space around. It would also help if you placed red fruits and areas for potential nests, and they might choose to leave the forest and make your trees their new habitat!

Do Eastern Kingbirds migrate?

Though they are solitary animals, these birds will come together to migrate. The Eastern Kingbird range is immense, and they will migrate in flocks to locations such as South America. Though it is established that they do, in fact, migrate, there have been very few instances where scientists have been able to see the Eastern Kingbird in flight as a group.

The reasons for this are unknown, and some scientists say that this is because their migratory patterns keep changing, unlike other species that continue to take the same route down south every time they fly. Despite attempts to record their migratory cycle, the last recorded migration was reported and verified in September 2016.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds, including quail, or Carolina parakeet.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Eastern Kingbird coloring pages.

Subscribe for virtual tools, STEM-inspired play, creative tips and more

By joining Kidadl you agree to Kidadl’s and and consent to receiving marketing communications from Kidadl.