Sunday, April 1, 2012

Thick-billed Kingbird


A bird that I was hoping would stick around for my San Diego arrival was this Thick-billed Kingbird, which is wintering on the edge of a Chula Vista apartment complex. A Mexican/Central American species, they have only a tiny population in the United States, many of which spend their summers along Sonoita Creek in southeast Arizona.

If my memory serves correct, this is only the third individual I have seen in California, so I knew that the prolonged bout of frothing at the mouth I suffered upon finding the bird was to be expected.


I have seen 6 species of kingbirds here in my home state, which pretty much gives me major bragging rights (to various nerds that most people would not want to brag to in the first place).

Oddly, I have seen more Thick-billed Kingbirds in California than Eastern Kingbirds, which is kind of weird...but I'm ok with that ratio. I love me an Eastern Kingbird, but this monstrosity of a flycatcher exists on a completely different level.


Look at the size of that bill! This is a serious bird...when you get near one, you can actually smell the hubris leaking out of its pores.


Thick-billed Kingbirds are even more fun when they are vocalizing, which can best be described as a cavalcade of tyranny...they are Tyrannids, after all.

If you haven't seen one, and can't make it to Chula Vista in time for this bird's imminent departure, stop by Patagonia, Arizona in a month and a half, they will be back by then.


11 comments:

  1. That is a very thick bill and a beautiful Kingbird!

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  2. Nice! I'm so jealous. I need to make it out there some time.

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    1. It will do you and your life list and photo stockpile good.

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  3. Cool bird! I really like the second photo, the profile shot.

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    1. Heh, I didn't even notice that it's looking over it's shoulder in almost every other shot.

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  4. A month and a half?? What about in a month dammit? Should I just cancel my trip entirely??

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    1. They are late to arrive and soon to leave...you've got a good chance though. If you miss them, just take a detour south into Mexico...

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  5. What a specimen! That bill must drive the lady kingbirds wild wild. I bet he rubs all the other Kingbird's noses in it, so to speak.

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    1. It might actually be a Queenbird, hard to say one way or the other...though mighty, they are an androgynous bunch.

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  6. Nice! I just got this bird yesterday. My photos are from the same angle, haha.

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