Common Name

Scientific Name

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Photo by Robert T. Maytum
Photo Courtesy of Robert T. Maytum

The eastern kingbird, Tyrannus tyrannus, breeds throughout most of the United States, as well as in much of much of Canada. The species is migratory, spending winters in South America. Eastern kingbirds breed in Utah, where they are moderately common in the northern part of the state during summer. Preferred habitats for the species in Utah include open wooded areas, agricultural areas, and urban parks.

Nests are often built in isolated trees or in shrubs near water. Females lay and then incubate a clutch of three to five eggs. Eggs hatch in about two weeks, and young leave the nest in an additional two weeks, although they are dependant on their parents for food for some time afterward. Eastern kingbirds primarily eat flying insects captured in the air, but fruits and seeds are also consumed. The species is active during the day.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Peterson, R. T., and V. M. Peterson. 1990. A field guide to western birds, 3rd ed. Houghton Mifflin, Boston. 432 pp.