Birds of Seabrook Island

COAST BIRDS
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WORLD BIRDS
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ANECDOTES

  Eastern Kingbird
 
 

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Species Acct.
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  Order Passeriformes
   Suborder Tyranni - "Suboscines"
      Family Tyrannidae - New World Flycatchers
         Subfamily Tyranninae - Crested Flycatcers

  Passerines are generally smaller than non-passerines. They have a perching foot with three toes directed forward and the one backward with locking tendons to facilitate perching when their tendons are flexed. All passerines scratch by bringing the foot over the wing. Incubation ranges from 11 -21 days. Young hatch blind with little or no down and spend 10-15 days or so in the nest - development is rapid and parents provide care beyond fledging.
Suboscines are passerines without the syringeal characteristics of the "oscines" or true songbirds.
New World Flycatchers are small, usually dull birds with a flat, hooked bill and strong rictal bristles.
Kingbirds are robust flycatchers of more open country.
     
     
  Eastern Kingbird, Tyrannus tyrannus
 
    Cornell     USGS     Wiki     ToL    EoL
        SUMMER Common / Common, breeds
            EDGES, FIELDS WITH SCATTERED TREES
MORE PICTURES
 
   The Eastern Kingbird is a large dark flycatcher with a black head and a dark gray back. The breast is gray and their is a sharp division between the black head and white throat in front, extending to beneath the ears. The tail is square and has an obvious white tip. They is found in open areas, often perched on wires.
Eastern Kingbird
     
Eastern Kingbird. Bear Island WMA
   
  RANGE: Kingbirds breed broadly from Nova Scotia across southern Canada to the Northwest Territories, south to British Columbia and through the mountain states and Great Plains to central Texas and the Gulf coast. They migrate to South America in winter.
  BREEDING: Monogamous. One brood. Both sexes help build a nest, midway between trunk and canopy or on a fence post or stump. They use weeds, grass, and plant down, and line it with grass, hair, and feathers. Females lay 3-4 (2-5) eggs which she incubates for 16-18 days. Young are altricial and remain in the nest for 16-18 days. Both parents care for them for an extended period - often more than 5 weeks. They are fearless and may harass larger birds and people in defense of their nest. The timing of breeding may be related to insect abundance.
  DIET: Mostly insects in the summer. Also eats berries and wild fruit especially in winter. Forages by flycatching, hovering to pluck food from foliage and may feed on the ground (winter).
  BREEDING: Monogamous. One brood. Both sexes help build a nest, midway between trunk and canopy or on a fence post or stump. They use weeds, grass, and plant down, and line it with grass, hair, and feathers. Females lay 3-4 (2-5) eggs which she incubates for 16-18 days. Young are altricial and remain in the nest for 16-18 days. Both parents care for them for an extended period - often more than 5 weeks. They are fearless and may harass larger birds and people in defense of their nest. The timing of breeding may be related to insect abundance.
  NOTES:
   Checklists -
      Seabrook (probably breeds). Kiawah - uncommon spring and fall, common summer (breeds). Edisto - summer.
      Coastal - common summer resident. Hilton Head - common summer resident.
        Cape Romain
- common/common (breeds)/uncommon/absent. 
        Huntington Beach
- common April - May; uncommon June - July; common August - September.
      Caw Caw - common/common (breeds)/common/absent. ACE - common common (breeds)/uncommon/absent.
   Kiawah Island banding - Capn' Sam's spit - 2 Aug-Sep 2010.
   SCBBA: All counties.
   P&G: Fairly common breeder, very common fall migrant. Most CBC Christmas counts are not acceptable. Maximum: 1,000, Sullivan's Island, 8 September 1979. Dates: 10 March - 16 October. Egg Dates: 5 May - 12 July.
   M&P: Earliest credible spring report is 25 March.
   Avendex: 5 reports, scattered.
   Potter: Common in the center of the state but uncommon toward the coast. Kingbirds are frequently seen perched on fences and wires. Spring arrival begins in late March or early April. Most depart by mid-September (with some stragglers lingering into late December or January).
  ●  Kingbirds are relatively uncommon in our open areas in summer - the Equestrian Center, Palmetto Lake, Jenkins Point, etc. They often perch on wires or fences, giving their sharp call as they perch. Look for them, they have character.
       
    Banner - Eastern Kingbird, Bear Island WMA.
       
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KEY:    ■ Seabrook list     □ Kiawah list