Saturday, June 27, 2009

Western Kingbird

When we were in Idaho one bird that we saw quite a bit of was the western kingbird. Western kingbirds can be found in the western portion of Minnesota and sometimes we see one around the Twin Cities but that is a pretty rare occurrence.
Like its cousin, the eastern kingbird, the western kingbird is a type of flycatcher. They eat mainly insects which they catch on the fly. They prefer open habitat, where they can hunt for insects, but require some trees bushes or man-made structures where they can perch and ambush their prey.
The range of the western kingbird has continually been expanding eastward over the past century, and now includes most of the US west of the Mississippi River. This has put them in conflict with eastern kingbirds. Both eastern and western kingbirds are fiercely territorial against other kingbirds, especially when nesting. The range of the western kingbird has expanded so greatly that you can now find western kingbirds wintering in southern Florida.

11 comments:

Mara said...

I love the second photo: he looks straight at us! Worth framing

madcobug said...

They are beautiful birds. Not a familiar one here. Helen

Cezar and Léia said...

Outstanding pictures, very interesting post!
Happy Camera Critters
purrs and love always dear friend
Luna(from Brazil)

Teena in Toronto said...

I love the yellow belly!

I played too :)

i beati said...

splendid Sandy

Nikki-ann said...

A beautiful bird and fantastic captures! :)

Matt Latham said...

Great images, the 2nd is my favourite.

Brooke said...

Lovely shots. He looks almost as though he were posing for you.

Anonymous said...

I am almost positive I saw (and heard) the Western Kingbird on the telephone wires in my yard (in Woodbury) on 6/13/11. I have never seen one before this year anywhere as I do not specifically go birding, but I do enjoy trying to identify more and more species each year in our local area.

Christina

Anonymous said...

I have a pair of western king birds nesting in my backyard right now. They built their next in a small bird house I placed on a post next to a small cirus tree. Location is Cocoa, Florida. May, 2012.

/S

Anonymous said...

Update:
Upon closer scrutiny -- they are not WKB's. No whit edge on the tail feathers. My guess now is that they are Ash-throated flycatchers.

Cocoa, Fl, May-2012

/S