Wild Guide: Eastern Kingbird

By MDC | June 1, 2022
From Missouri Conservationist: June 2022

Eastern Kingbird

Tyrannus tyrannus

This bird’s moniker — kingbird — is fitting for two different reasons. First, eastern kingbirds bear a reddish-orange crown on their heads that is often hard to see in the field. Second, kingbirds are known for their fearless physical attacks of other birds. They chase away crows and even hawks that venture into their territories, screaming and sometimes landing on them in flight, pecking fiercely on their backs. Their voice is a burst of chattering, high, sharp kips, kitters, and tzeees.

Did You Know?

Eastern kingbirds were once referred to as bee-martins, based on the erroneous assumption they preyed on honeybees to their peril.

Eastern Kingbird

This Issue's Staff

Magazine Manager - Stephanie Thurber
Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Associate Editor - Larry Archer
Photography Editor - Cliff White
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek
Staff Writer – Dianne Van Dien
Designer - Shawn Carey
Designer - Marci Porter
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Circulation Manager - Laura Scheuler