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    Gray Kingbird (Tyrannus dominicensis)

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    Appearance

    This is a stocky, large-headed, pale gray flycatcher of the coastal habitats. Look for a dusky blackish patch through the eye, heavy bill, and whitish underparts. The tail is notched, without white.

    Diet

    Noisy, as well as belligerent, it frequently emits harsh notes as it sits on telephone wires or exposed branches ready to dart after flying insects. They feed on a variety of insects, including bees, wasps, beetles, and dragonflies. It also eats small lizards. At some season, berries and small fruits may be as much as one-fifth of its diet.

    Nesting Behaviour

    Like other kingbirds, this species is fearless, even chasing hawks and crows and attacking humans who come too close to its nests. The nest is a cup shape of twigs, grasses, rootlets lined with finer grass, usually loosely built, so that eggs may even be visible from below.

    Distribution

    Widespread in the Caribbean, this big flycatcher enters our country, mainly in Florida. There, it is numerous in summer, chiefly along the coast, less common toward the north.

    Length: 9 inches

    Habitat: Coastal, in mangrove thickets, and in small groves of palms and oaks

    Range: Coastal regions of South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, the West Indies, and smaller islands in the Caribbean. Winters from the Greater Antilles to Colombia, Venezuela, and the Guianas.

    Video Credits: mariasisoy
    IMage Credits: Charles J Sharp, WikiMedia

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