Eastern King-bird is known as Tyrannus Tyrannus which means tyrant or king. They are called so because of their aggressive nature. They are one of the dominating birds and are fairly large flycatchers. Eastern King-bird are not listed as threatened but still research shows that their population is declining since two decades. It is a common bird which is found all over the world.
RANGE AND HABITAT:
Eastern King-bird can be extensively being seen in most of the east of North America, from the gulf of Mexico, north of central Canada and eastern Washington. These birds are also found in east of Atlantic ocean as well as in west of Rocky mountains.
These birds are one of the common birds and can be seen even in city parks and roadsides. This species are found where there are scattered shrubs and trees, also the dead snags is home to these birds which is surrounded by water. Trees which are home to Eastern Kingbird include hawthorn, elm, mulberry, locust, ironwood, white cedar and sycamore. In winters their homes are found in forest along riverside and near wetlands.
Eastern King-bird have black wings or some birds have blue- black wings also. The head of this bird is completely black and can easily be identified with contrasting black upper pants and white underpants. These birds have upright posture, square tipped tail and are a medium sized bird. The black tail has a conspicuous white tip which is a special feature of this bird. The Eastern Kingbird is 8-9 inches long, having wings up to 14-15 inches and are build with broad shoulders.
The Eastern King-bird is most aggressive bird towards larger birds and try to attack hawks and crows regularly. They do not walk but fly from place to place and are one of the fast flyers. They are very active during the daytime and cannot tolerate any other bird nearby. But during migration in winters they are very social and fly in large flocks with larger birds. It uses variety of communication calls which are very harsh to listen. It is interesting to know that these birds are singing birds and males sing often a complex song in the morning. Their call is quick and fasr with a chattering like “kit-kit-kitter-kitter”.
The Eastern Kingbird is known as sit and wait predators which takes short flight to catch its prey. They have different feeding habits in different seasons. In winters they love to have mostly fruits whereas in summers they feed on insects. The small insects include bees, wasps, ants, beetles, crickets, grasshoppers, locusts, bugs and flies. It catches small frogs and beat them up to the perch and swallow it in one go. Fruits which supplements their diet includes mulberries, serviceberries, cherries, blackberries, elderberries and nightshade. Eastern Kingbird does not rely on water , hardly they are seen drinking water.
The nest made of weeds twigs and grass is placed on a horizontal limb of a tree. The breeding place is often chosen as a forest where breeding type is monogamous. Three to five eggs are laid in the nest with white to pale pink eggs marked with brown, lavender and gray color. The egg length is about 2.1 to 2.7 cm and incubation period is of 14-17 days. Parent Eastern Kingbird feed their young for about seven weeks. Eastern Kingbird feeds from april to june and can breed in their first year hatching. Young began to feed themselves at about four weeks.
Eastern Kingbird are under threat because of following reasons:-
- Loss of habitat
- Forest turned to small farms
- Overuse of pesticides
- Collision with vehicles destroys nest
Eastern Kingbird are widespread but it is seen that their population is decreasing day by day. To date these birds doesn’t seem to have declined but are protected by the U.S migratory birds act. There are currently no conservation measures specifically for Eastern Kingbird. But it should be taken into consideration lest its too late.
PRICE IN INDIA:
It costs $ 2500 to $ 3000 as per its breed.