Return of the King, indeed! The Eastern Kingbird appears in Tennessee in the springtime. By late August or early September they've gathered in groups of 20 for migration to Mexico and South America. When the 'gathering' time begins the Kingbird becomes very vocal, and entire families will call back and forth. The collective noun(s) used for a flock of kingbirds: tyranny, court or coronation
Each year, these birds return to their mating grounds and stake out their territory. Kingbirds (both male and female) are intolerant of other birds and seem to have no fear for even the largest and most formidable enemy. Hawks, crows and blue jays are not safe from their attacks. Their reputation for having such an attitude earned them the moniker "King"
Kingbirds demonstrate a hawking technique for catching insects: they perch on tall branches and watch intently for flying insects. After flying out to catch it (in flight), the birds return to the same perch.
A little known fact about Kingbirds: they have a concealed red crown that is seen only when they are 'displaying'
BIRDING is a special series on Edge of the Wildwood that features wild birds. Visit us again for more stories about our feathered friends.