Friday, May 12, 2023

Tropical Kingbird

On our drive from Manizales Airport to Tinamu Reserve and then from Tinamu Reserve to Montezuma Rainforest Lodge, which was about 5 and a half hours total, we had the same driver who was a birder, and he kept pointing out tropical kingbirds and telling us that they were probably the most common bird in the area. Yet I only photographed two and they are the only ones that I had a good opportunity to photograph, as far as I recall. I also photographed two near the Churute Mangroves and two in the same tree in Mindo, Ecuador last year. 
Tropical kingbirds near Churute Mangroves in Ecuador. 

Tropical kingbirds in Mindo, Ecuador.
It was in Ecuador near Churutes Mangroves that I struggled to identify birds with the yellow underparts which seemed so similar to each other, particularly as I was not getting close looks at them. These included a social flycatcher, a boat-billed flycatcher, a rusty-margined flycatcher, a tropical kingbird and this year in Colombia a great kiskadee, in addition to some of those other birds already identified. But as I got better photos this year and also had a guide, some of the differences are becoming more readily obvious to me. 
Tropical kingbirds at Tinamu Reserve in Colombia.

The tropical kingbird is found in southern Arizona and the lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas, in the U.S., portions of Mexico and most of Central America and down through much of South America. There are three subspecies, but it is not clear to me which subspecies I observed. 
Tropical kingbird range from Wikipedia. Purple is year-round and orange is breeding. 
The tropical kingbird has the yellow underparts and brown wings and tail and black bill that are found on so many of these birds. The throat is pale gray instead of white, compared to the great kiskadee and the head is gray and has a lighter mask, but no supercilium, compared to the great kiskadee. 

1 comment:

  1. They all look too much alike. I would never suspect they are different species/subspecies. I like the white borders on the wing feathers that give them a fish scale look.