Gray Kingbird: Large flycatcher with gray upperparts, black mask, inconspicuous red crown patch, and mostly white underparts with pale yellow wash on belly and undertail coverts. Bill is long and black. Wings and notched tail are dark. Fluttering direct flight on shallow wing beats.
Range and Habitat
Gray Kingbird: Breeds in coastal regions of South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and northern Gulf coast. Spends winters in the tropics. Preferred habitats include coastal areas, including mangrove thickets and small groves of palms or oaks.
The Gray Kingbird is also know as a Pitirre.
These birds aggressively defend their territory against intruders, including mammals and much larger birds such as caracaras or hawks.
This phenomenon has propelled the pitirre into a national symbol (a sort of David vs. Goliath figure) that serves as a powerful and widespread nationalist symbol in Puerto Rico as well as a metaphor for the Puerto Rican Independence Movement.
A group of kingbirds are collectively known as a "coronation", "court", and "tyranny" of kingbirds.
The Gray Kingbird is a passerine species which breeds in the southeastern United States, Central America, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the West Indies, Venezuela, Trinidad, Tobago, Guiana and Columbia. Populations in the north will migrate in winter months to the Caribbean coast of Central America and northern South America. Its natural habitat includes tall trees and shrubs, and it is commonly found along the edges of marshes and other wetlands. This species aggressively defends its territory against larger birds and mammals. Diets consist mostly of insects found on trees and the ground of their chosen habitat. The conservation rating for the Gray Kingbird is Least Concern.