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Tropical Kingbird


IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

An extremely common and widespread bird of the American tropics, the Tropical Kingbird barely reaches the United States in south Texas and southern Arizona.

At a GlanceHelp

Both Sexes
7.1–9.1 in
18–23 cm
1.1–1.5 oz
32–43 g
Other Names
  • Tyrannus mélancolique (French)
  • Tirano tropical (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • Although a widespread bird and a seemingly typical kingbird, the Tropical Kingbird is among the most specialized of flycatchers. It forages almost exclusively by sallying after large flying insects.
  • The Tropical Kingbird has become a regular fall visitor to the Pacific Coast of the United States. Nearly every year a few wandering kingbirds are discovered there. Most of these are immature birds.


Open Woodland

Open country with scattered trees, urban areas, mangrove forests, cactus forests.



Flying insects, some fruit.


Nesting Facts
Egg Description
Whitish or pale pink with variable amount of dark blotching, densest around large end.
Condition at Hatching
Helpless and with sparse gray down.
Nest Description

Open cup of vines, roots, twigs, weed stems, and dry grasses, lined with hair or nothing. Placed in high crotch of isolated tree.

Nest Placement




Aerial hawking from elevated perch.


status via IUCN

Least Concern

Tropical Kingbird live well with people, and their range has expanded with human-induced changes in landscape. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 20 million with 4% living in Mexico, and possibly a small percentage breeding in the U.S. They rate a 10 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score and are not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List.


Range Map Help

Tropical Kingbird Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings

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