Cassins Kingbird (Tyrannus vociferans)

Cassins Kingbird

Cassins Kingbird (Tyrannus vociferans)

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Tyrannidae | [latin] Tyrannus vociferans | [UK] Cassins Kingbird | [FR] Tyran de Cassin | [DE] Cassintyrann | [ES] Tirano Griton | [NL] Cassins Koningstiran


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Tyrannus vociferans NA, MA s USA to Belize
Tyrannus vociferans vociferans
Tyrannus vociferans xenopterus

Physical charateristics

Like the Western Kingbird but darker, with a darker olive-gray back; no distinct white sides on its black tail (which may be lightly tipped
). Cassin’s appears to have a whiter chin due to its darker chest .

Listen to the sound of Cassins Kingbird

[audio: Kingbird.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

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North America, Middle America : South USA to Belize


Semi-open high country, pine-oak mountains, groves.
Breeds in more wooded habitat than most kingbirds, and ranges to higher elevations, although in places it overlaps with Western Kingbird. Nests in open pine forest, pinyon-juniper woodland, oak woodland, and streamside t
rees; at lower elevation may nest in groves of eucalyptus. During migration may be in more open habitats.


Male has a fast zigzag courtship flight. Members of pair may perch together in nest tree, calling and quivering wings. Adults actively harass larger birds (such as ravens and hawks) that come to close to nest.
Nest: Site is in a large tree such as sycamore, cottonwood, oak, or pine, placed on a horizontal or near-horizontal branch, often well out from the trunk. Usually 20-
50′ above the ground but occasionally lower and sometimes much higher. Nest is a bulky cup of twigs, weed stems, rootlets, leaves, feathers, hair, and debris, lined with finer plant fibers and other material.
Eggs: 3-4, up to 5. Creamy white with brownish mottling, markings often concentrated near large end. Incubation is by female, about 18 days.
Young: Both parents feed nestlings. Young leave the nest after 14-17 days. Usually 1 brood per year, sometimes 2 in south.

Feeding habits

Mostly insects, some berries.
Feeds on a wide variety of insects, including wasps, beetles, caterpillars, moths, grasshoppers, true bugs, flies, and many others, as well as some spiders. Also eats some berries and fruits, more than most flycatchers.
Behavior: From a perch in a tree or on an exposed wire, flies out to capture insects in midair. May also fly out and hover while picking insects or other arthropods from leaves or from the ground.


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Cassins Kingbird status Least Concern


Western United States to southern Mexico, Guatemala. Migration: Often lingers later in fall than other kingbirds. South of United States, may migrate in large flocks.

Distribution map

Cassins Kingbird distribution range map

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