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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Eastern Kingbird - Bird Photography Weekly

 For this weeks edition of Bird Photography Weekly I would like to present a summertime visitor to my backyard - the Eastern Kingbird.

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I've been trying to capture a photo of this witty bird for a while now, and finally a couple weeks ago one hung out long enough for me to snap off a few shots. They never seem to stay very long when they visit - just long enough to gobble up a few insects and move on.

The Eastern Kingbird is a flycatcher that likes to hang out in open landscape, feeding on flying insects. Below is a neat photo of one in action.

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As you can see, there were plenty of insects out on this particular hot, humid afternoon!

Don't let the word 'Eastern' in it's name throw you off, this bird has a wide summer range that stretches across most of the US. In winter  they migrate to the tropical forest of South America.

One thing I've noticed about these birds are their aggressive behavior toward other birds. When it enters into my backyard, the bluebirds and purple martins become a little unsettled. I've watched a kingbird attack a purple martin in mid-air for no particular reason. Neither were hurt but the kingbird doesn't play when it comes to other birds getting in it's way.

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Click here to learn more about the Eastern Kingbird.

 

15 comments:

Arija said...

I guess it is not called King bird for nothing.. he likes to be top of the trees and king of the heap.
That first shot against the moody sky is just wonderful, also the action shot with the air full of insects.

Janet said...

Great shots Alan, I am not sure if I have seen a Kingbird in my garden/ creek area. I will have to be a better observer.

Tranquility said...

I love the one of him flying! It looks like he has plenty of food available! ;)

mick said...

Lovely photos. Hope all those insects are not ones that bite humans!

Wren said...

Nicely done - I like the hint of sunlight on the feathers in that top photo. And the flight photo with the blurry insects is really intriguing.

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

Great pictures and very interesting post. I've never heard of this type of bird before, they sound a little scary :)

gwendolen said...

It looks quite a handsome bird in that last shot. Love the action photo. Cool to see the light through the wings.

Bob and Cynthia Kaufman said...

Interesting information on the Eastern Kingbird, Alan. And great photos to boot! I like the one where the bird was hawking for insects!

Kelly said...

...love the tail in the first photo, but the one with him catching the bugs is so cool!

Larry said...

Great captures of the Eastern Kingbird Alan! A similar species to our Western Kingbird out west. The white band across the end of the tail being a defining difference easily seen in the field.

I really enjoy watching these birds as they hawk insects on the fly. Your in flight capture with the insects is incredible!

NicoleB said...

What an amazing bird.
Must really be the King of the backyards.
That "in flight" shot is really impressive with all the bugs in the air :)

DK Miller said...

Interesting info and nice pictures. My favorite was the first with the bird up on the tree.

Alan said...

Thanks for the kind comments everyone!

dAwN said...

I love that in flight shot..with the bugs..very artsy..

susan said...

I have heard that from many Purple martin landlords, that the King birds harass them to an extent. But more eyes to watch out for hawks at my colony, the better!