Friday’s Feathered Friends-Western Kingbird

Copyright ©2022 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

While out for good long walk along the river recently I spied a Spring/ Summer visitor perched on a fence. The Western Kingbird. They’re one of the birds with lovely yellow in their coloring that visit here.

I think they’re so cheery with their bright yellow feathers, and gray heads.

They are in the Flycatcher family that hunts flying insects from its perch on a fence, trees, or utility wires.

They’re also famous for chasing and scolding intruders like Red-tailed Hawks, and American Kestrels.

Fun Facts gleaned from

  • The Western Kingbird’s breeding range has been spreading for the last century as an unplanned result of human activities. By planting trees and installing utility poles in open areas, people have provided hunting perches and nest sites, and by clearing forests they have created open habitats suitable for foraging.
  • Though known as birds of the West, Western Kingbirds tend to wander during fall migration. They show up along the East Coast, between Florida and Newfoundland, every autumn—but only rarely during the spring. In 1915 Western Kingbirds began spending winters in Florida, where they are now regular winter residents.
  • Western Kingbirds aggressively fend off predators and other kingbirds from their territories. The males warn off intruders with harsh buzzes or whirring wings. Both males and females snap their bills and raise their red crowns (normally hidden under gray feathers on their heads) when provoked. As the breeding season wears on, each pair defends a smaller and smaller territory. By mid-incubation time the territory includes the nest tree and little else.
  • The Western Kingbird was originally known as the Arkansas Kingbird, but scientists changed its name to acknowledge its wide range across western North America.
  • The oldest Western Kingbird on record was a male, and at least 6 years, 11 months old, when he was found in South Dakota.

We’ve been having big, strong winds lately so my sinus’ are a bit of a mess, but we’re looking at nice sunny days for the week-end here and hopefully the wind mellows out too.

I’ve been thinking about photographing the upcoming Lunar Eclipse. I won’t be able to see the entire thing from start to finish, but I’ll be able to see Totality. I’ll probably just photograph it from my yard. What about you, are you planning to watch it or photograph it?

I hope you all have a lovely week-end, and to all the Mom’s and Grandmother’s, I wish you a very Happy Mother’s Day! 🌼💗

Fuji X-T3| Fujinon 100-400mm| PS CC 23.2.2

more to come…

49 thoughts on “Friday’s Feathered Friends-Western Kingbird

  1. Great shot! Speaking of flycatchers, we had a pair of Ash-throated Flycatchers here checking out our empty bluebird box. I haven’t seen them in a couple of days so I am not sure if they decided to rent the place. I can see how the Kingbird looks related.

  2. Ps
    Just an idea / but for all things sinus the Neil med products are outstanding
    And if you aren’t sure where to start – the main one I have used is th sinu-rinse bottle that comes with premixed packets! The packets have a perfect blend of salt and baking soda and so no stinging and cleans the sinus pathways so wonderfully

    Costco had a set recently with two bottles and the packets for under 20
    I usually make my own salt -baking soda mix but like the packets too.
    Anyhow – this product can really
    Be a gift

    1. I have been using saline rinse in a can for decades along with Flonase or other nasal spray. My Dr. started me on both when I was in my twenties. Saline Spray in a can has been a miracle for me. Sometimes my face ache-sinus pain is so bad I just can’t do much, but that gets me through the worst in less than a day.

      1. Okay – that seems to be a huge help – and I am not familiar with cans – but the plastic bottle from Neil med cleans like nothing else and might help eradicate stuff from deeper sinus – hmmmm
        But we are all so different and have different stuff to manage – 😉

        1. It’s a spray can, probably the one you saw at Costco. I get them there too as they are a great price there. I tried a neti pot for awhile but, hated having to boil the water then wait for it to cool down enough to actually be able to use it. The stuff in the spray can is so good and so convenient!

          1. Yes – Neti pots never were my thing – but the Neil med sinus bottle is so easy! And my sister in Canada had the mini size and when i saw her use it I realized How easy it was!
            But if the can works – right on – and it is the saline mix that is so effective, eh?

            1. Yes, it’s the saline mix that just works! 😀 I have used that Neil spray before when the Simply Saline was out of stock. I keep going back to the Simply Saline fine mist cans. It’s my favorite.

            2. thank for sharing abut that – I just looked at they including a can of that in the recent Costco purchase we made – I will hold on to it just in case I need it – or offer it to someone if I come across them in need – ha
              A lady at a store I go to bought their (Neil Med) 100 dollar apparatus – she showed me a photo and it was fancy – she said it cleared out her sinuses like nothing else – and her entire family uses it – I would have to say they might be the best in this area

  3. Thanks for the info
    About this awesome bird
    And it was kind of good news to read that “people have provided hunting perches and nest sites, and by clearing forests they have created open habitats suitable for foraging.”

    Also – I also love the grey and yellow color scheme and these birds sound like they have some spunk!

  4. You’re right a little cheerful bird. Night photography would be a new thing for me, having to learn some more things, haha.

    1. Wikipedia says,” The name kingbird is derived from their “take-charge” behavior. These birds aggressively defend their territory, even against much larger birds such as hawks.
      Genus: Tyrannus
      Species: T. verticalis”

  5. Hi Deb, We saw 4 of these week before last down on Genoa Drive on the field trip. Have missed seeing you. I am reading a book called Kingbird Highway by Ken Kaufman. The bird that got him hooked on birding (at age 9!) was the Western Kingbird! 🙂 Thanks for sharing the info tidbits, always fun. Take Care, Jarlath

  6. I don’t even know when the eclipse is but I’m not good at night photography so I’ll wait to see your wonderful photos. Allergies are apparently full on here and my husband suffers, so I can’t open the windows in the morning for cooling down the house and getting it freshened up. 😦 I open mine and keep the doors closed until I have to close everything to avoid the heat…which is coming on full now too (although maybe here the 90’s really aren’t “full on.”) Have a wonderful, sniffle-free weekend, my friend.

  7. Thanks Deborah for the interesting info and lovely pics of the Western Kingbird, Our flycatchers have similar characteristics but darker in colour.

  8. What a marvelous little guy. He’s too fierce for his feathers (“too sexy for his shirt”) sitting there on the barbed wire! Great catch, Deborah.
    I chose your New Orleans photo for the Thursday Doors writing challenge. So, I’m sending an email to your yahoo address with a question.
    Hugs on the wing!

  9. Nice shot, Deborah! I love how so many birds keep the insect population down, and the fact that they’re often lovely to look at is a real bonus. Hope you have a nice MD weekend as well!

  10. That is one cute bird, regardless of its official name. As for photographing anything in the sky, no matter when a big event takes place, we have cloudy skies. Every. Stinking. Time.

    1. Thank you, Ally! I’m hoping we have a clear night. I know how you’re feeling about that as I’ve been skunked by clouds and weather many times for celestial events. Fingers crossed this eclipse we can see!

  11. I enjoyed this lovely photo of the western kingbird, Deborah, and nice to know their breeding range is expanding. I hope you get a chance to photograph the eclipse, your nighttime photos are always so stunning.

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