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Nature in it's glory

Nature in it's glory

Jan 19, 2010

Eastern Kingbird

Eastern Kingbird
I hadn't realized just how lucky I was to get this shot of an Eastern Kingbird last fall. It was just at the end of migration period and the bird must have been a straggler as they usually migrate in flocks.

As you can see in the picture this bird is grey to black on the back and light grey or white on the belly, with a lone white band edging its tail. What is rarely seen is a red patch on the top of its head. When I first saw the bird at the top of a tree from behind, I thought it looked like a crow except that it was too small, which made me curious. It was the white tail band that convinced me to snap the picture with my binoculars, before the bird disappeared on me. I was fortunate enough to get this second shot a few minutes later when I spotted it again. My digital binoculars do come in handy.

This is what I have learned about Eastern Kingbirds so far:
They are incredibly aggressive when defending their nests, even against larger birds like crows, raven and hawks. When the male attacks the female joins him in support. They have even been photographed perched on an eagles head, as if hitching a ride, as shown here: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1029&message=28374673
They tend to avoid urban areas, nesting in and around streams, along roadsides in trees and seem to also like to nest in orchards, especially apple trees. They prefer a habitat that consists of large open areas such as
meadows and fields. They thrive on insects, which they catch midair but will also hover over an area to hunt
for insects. To supplement their diets they also feed on wild berries. Their range of habitat is all across
Canada and the US and they migrate to South America in the fall, where apparently their behavior is quite
different, in that they tend to stay together in flocks.

If you wish to hear this bird's song follow this link: http://whatbird.wbu.com/obj/589/_/Eastern_Kingbird.aspx

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1 comment:

  1. It's neat that you got a chance to see him. Hearing about how courages some animals and bird, they're incredible creatures. Virtue is truly not retricted to human discription.