Cassin's Kingbird

ID Info
  • Cassin's Kingbird
  • Cassin's Kingbird
  • Cassin's Kingbird
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Cassin's Kingbird

Tyrannus vociferans
  • ORDER: Passeriformes
  • FAMILY: Tyrannidae
Basic Description

An assertive bird of dry open country, the gray and lemon-yellow Cassin's Kingbird hunts flying insects from high perches. The bird’s scientific name translates to “vociferous tyrant,” and it fits this loud, aggressive songbird well. Males may attack large hawks that pass too close to the nest or battle rival kingbirds that enter the nesting territory. Cassin’s Kingbird resembles the widespread Western Kingbird but lacks that species’ white outer tail feathers and features a neat white throat that stands out against a stormy gray head and breast.

More ID Info
image of range map for Cassin's KingbirdRange map provided by Birds of North AmericaExplore Maps

Find This Bird

Walk or drive slowly through open habitat with scattered trees in the early morning, and listen for the rollicking dawn song or the emphatic ti-bew call of this rather noisy species. The birds perch prominently on large trees, bare limbs, or utility poles, which also helps with the search. These feisty birds are often active before dawn and through much of the day, though they may seek shade during extreme heat.

Other Names
  • Tirano Gritón (Spanish)
  • Tyran de Cassin (French)
  • Cool Facts