[CT Birds] Readings 15

Dennis Varza dennisvz at optonline.net
Sat Nov 5 07:22:08 EDT 2011

Readings 15
Eastern Kingbird

The Kingbird is another pugnacious character. Apparently he spends  
most of his time in chasing insects or in driving other birds off his  
territory. He has a good deal of style for a rather plain bird, which  
is evidenced in his crested black head and beautifully toned gray- 
white breast, as well as his dignified if not defiant, straight  

The Kingbird has no song, but he has some conversational ability of a  
limited though stridulous character. It is not difficult to place the  
tone of his voice on the musical staff, although there is not a bit  
of music in that tone. His remarks as he stands on some high perch  
commanding a wide outlook are a trifle monotonous: Ker-rip, ker-rip,  
quirp, each with a rising inflection, and then Ker-r-r-r, ker-r-r-r,  
ker-r-r-r, in a decidedly burred or double-tone note, which may be  
imitated by humming and whistling simultaneously.

An old apple-tree is a favorite resort of the Kingbird, and in this  
the nest is frequently built within plain sight. The male bid stands  
guard over the premises, and woe to the individual who wings his  
flight that way; it usually means a chase to the bitter end.

He is indeed, as his name would imply, the Tyrant Flycatcher, though  
is not a tryannical husband; for it is as plain as day he treats his  
mate with the utmost consideration guarding the nest with assiduous  
care while she is away in search of food. I have never seen him  
assist in building a nest, or in domestic cares involved with the  
brooding period, but he is afterward very attentive in feeding the  

Dennis Varza

More information about the CTBirds mailing list