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Gray Kingbird

ID Info
  • Gray Kingbird
  • Gray Kingbird
  • Gray Kingbird
Silhouette FlycatchersFlycatchers
Gray KingbirdTyrannus dominicensis
  • ORDER: Passeriformes
  • FAMILY: Tyrannidae

Basic Description

The Gray Kingbird is a large, assertive flycatcher often seen around towns and mangroves in coastal areas. Large headed and heavy billed like other kingbirds, the Gray Kingbird has ashy gray upperparts that grade into dark gray-brown wings and tail, with the hint of a dark mask through the eyes. Monochrome as it may be, this bird is a familiar favorite throughout its range owing to its boisterous pitirre! vocalizations and fighter-pilot flycatching—pursuing dragonflies and wasps on aerial chases that may cover 100 yards.

More ID Info
image of range map for Gray Kingbird
Year-roundBreedingMigrationNonbreeding
Range map provided by Birds of the World
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Find This Bird

Gray Kingbirds are not too hard to find if you're in Florida or the Caribbean. They perch in the open, in trees or on utility wires, often delivering their rolling pitirre call. In the U.S., a brisk walk or drive through coastal towns in southern Florida in spring or summer, especially around the Keys, should turn up one or several. Look for the kingbirds' characteristic silhouette (large headed, broad shouldered), and then check for the gray upperparts and clean white underparts.

Other Names

  • Tirano Dominicano (Spanish)
  • Tyran gris (French)
  • Cool Facts

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