Fun Tropical Kingbird Facts For Kids

Akinwalere Olaleye
Oct 20, 2022 By Akinwalere Olaleye
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao
Tropical Kingbird facts about the North American birds.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.6 Min

Birds are swift creatures found across the globe in various shapes, sizes, and body types. Their body is designed aerodynamically and their forelimbs are modified into wings for easy flight at great heights in the sky.

They are laden with light feathers throughout their body to make the process even easier. Birds can achieve fast speeds of flight and are mostly insectivores or carnivores.

A lot of these birds of North America are seen feeding on nectar and plant seeds. This is one reason why most birds are very important to the ecological system. They are great pollinators and hence are responsible for the survival and maintenance of a lot of plant species in the world.

One such insectivore bird that also feeds on plant seed, is a tropical kingbird (Tyrannus melancholicus). A tropical kingbird is native to the Americas.

There they are found in places like southern Arizona breeding in abundance. A tropical kingbird (Tyrannus melancholicus) is a colorful songbird and is scientifically called Tyrannus melancholicus.

Here are some of the most interesting facts about the North American birds from the Melancholicus order, Passeriformes family, and Tyrannus genus for your perusal. Afterwards, do have a look at our other articles on the eastern kingbird and the western kingbird as well.

Tropical Kingbird Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a tropical kingbird?

A tropical kingbird is a bird, more specifically a songbird of the Melancholicus order, Passeriformes family, and Tyrannus genus and features in the avian family. Birds of this species have a pair of wings for forelimbs and have a forked tail.

As per Cornell Lab of Ornithology, these medium-sized birds are kingbirds, first studied and described by the French ornithologist Louis Jean Pierre Vieillot.

What class of animal does a tropical kingbird belong to?

As per the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, a tropical kingbird belongs to the family of birds or Aves of the phylum Chordata of the kingdom Animalia. It is a passerine bird, more specifically belonging to the family of Tyrannidae and the order Passeriformes, the order of preaching birds.

How many tropical kingbirds are there in the world?

These young birds of North America are found in really good numbers across the globe. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Partners in Flight, their global breeding population is estimated to be somewhere around 200 million individuals.

Where does a tropical kingbird live?

The breeding population of a tropical kingbird is generally seen residing in the arid and the semi-arid regions of the. Native to North and South America, a tropical kingbird population is spread across southern Arizona, Rio Grande Valley in Texas, Central Argentina, and eastern Peru. Their population migrates to warmer regions for breeding.

What is a tropical kingbird's habitat?

A tropical kingbird prefers open and semi-open country regions with plenty of flying insects to feed on. In coastal regions, they prefer woodland with a lot of shrub plants, desert areas with cactus and riparian corridors.

This bird species is fiercely protective of its territory even against larger birds. This species winters from southern Texas, south through Mexico and Central America to South America.

Who do tropical kingbirds live with?

These monogamous birds are often seen in pairs especially during the mating season across their range of habitat; otherwise, this species can be seen flying alone and may also be spotted in small groups of their own kind. Their nest can be found on a fork or crotch high up a tree.

How long does a tropical kingbird live?

These species have a decent life span, similar to any other passerine bird. It is estimated that like other kingbirds, the lifespan of these flycatchers is around six years.

How do they reproduce?

The season in which this bird breeds varies with place and time, but a female lays one brood per season in the breeding habitat. The male kingbird calls for the female as a part of the courtship display and is monogamous in nature.

After courtship display, a male will flap its wings and defend its territories aggressively.

After mating, a female lays around two to four eggs and incubates them for 15-16 days on average in the cup-shaped nests placed in a canopy.

The eggs are white or creamy in color with blotches of black or brown color. When chicks are born they fledge in 19 days and after a span of 33 days, kingbirds are independent enough to survive on their own.

What is their conservation status?

According to the IUCN, a tropical kingbird is considered as Least Concern species for an accurate description of the conservation efforts required. Their population is stable for now but there are certain threats these gray-colored birds have to face to maintain their present conservation status.

Overheating of nests, predators such as snakes and bigger birds, and increasing human settlements are some threats beckoning their conservation.

Tropical Kingbird Fun Facts

What do tropical kingbirds look like?

The description of this species highlights that it is a small-sized bird with a pale gray head and cheeks that are a shade darker. Bill is long and pointy and the wings are comprised of darker plumage.

Their throat is pale in appearance and the upper part of the body is olive grayish in color, while, the underside near the abdomen is a bright shade of yellow. Their tail is longer and darker just like the upper body and females are smaller in size than the male.

Male birds are known to flap their wings to court females during the breeding season.

How cute are they?

These are really cute and small birds with olive-gray upper parts, yellow breast, gray head, orange crown patch, pale throat, and dark eye patch. Their distinct call, appearance, body, and habits make them even cuter. Their pale iris and flying abilities are all points of attraction for bird sighters.

How do they communicate?

Kingbirds have very enticing calls to communicate by their famous vocalization song called dawn song. These flycatchers usually form a bond in huge numbers with other birds and chirp aloud among themselves. Their call is a high-pitched twittering trill which sounds like 'tree-e-e-e-e-e-e'.

How big is a tropical kingbird?

A kingbird measures 8.7 in (22 cm) in terms of body length. Kingbirds are usually the same size as other normal birds and have a wingspan of around 15-16 in (38–41 cm).

How fast can a tropical kingbird fly?

Tropical kingbirds have an average speed of up to 15 mph (24 kph) just like other birds. Kingbirds may increase their speed by up to 25 mph (40 kph).

How much does a tropical kingbird weigh?

These cute little tropical kingbirds weigh around 1.4 oz (39.68 g). Due to their tiny size and appearance, these flycatchers don’t weigh a lot.

What are the male and female names of the species?

Male and female tropical kingbirds don’t have a specific name and are referred to as male kingbirds and female kingbirds respectively.

What would you call a baby tropical kingbird?

A baby tropical kingbird is simply referred to as a juvenile bird or a young tropical bird.

What do they eat?

In terms of feeding behavior, tropical kingbirds basically feast on flying insects like as these flycatchers are insectivores. Many birds of this species have been seen to capture multiple prey items in a single sally.

Their favored prey include beetles, bugs, dragonflies, grasshoppers. However, kingbirds are also known to include some fruit (berries and seeded fruit) in their balanced diet.

Some of the birds that prey on this species of kingbirds are falcons and eagles.

Are they dangerous?

Not at all. A tropical kingbird is seemingly cute and an adorable sight to behold. A tropical kingbird is only dangerous to the insects these flycatchers feed on. These young birds exhibit extremely friendly behavior unless someone tries to encroach into their territory.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, definitely. If an experienced pet enthusiast keeps it and takes care of it, then a tropical kingbird will do better off with him.

Did you know...

Tropical kingbirds at dawn time are known to sing a song called the dawn song.

Where do tropical kingbirds migrate?

Winter is the month when these tropical birds start migrating from Texas reaching Mexico and then embarking their way to Central America.

What is the color of the eggs of tropical kingbirds?

A female tropical kingbird lays around two to four eggs. Their eggs' color may range from white to pale pink having dense coloring at the end.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these European robin facts and prothonotary warbler facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our Tropical Kingbird coloring pages.

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Written by Akinwalere Olaleye

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

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Akinwalere OlaleyeBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

As a highly motivated, detail-oriented, and energetic individual, Olaleye's expertise lies in administrative and management operations. With extensive knowledge as an Editor and Communications Analyst, Olaleye excels in editing, writing, and media relations. Her commitment to upholding professional ethics and driving organizational growth sets her apart. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Benin, Edo State. 

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Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

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Pradhanya RaoBachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

With a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Christ University, Bangalore, Pradhanya's passion for the English language and literature led her to explore the field of content writing, where she has gained extensive experience in writing, reviewing, editing, and fact-checking. She has also earned certifications in Google Ads Search, Google Ads Display, and Social Media Marketing, showcasing her proficiency in digital marketing.

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