Grey kingbird (Tyrannus dominicensis)
Papiamento name: pímpiri
The grey kingbird is a passerine bird. It breeds from the extreme southeast of the USA through Central America, from Cuba to Puerto Rico as well as eastward towards all across the Lesser West Indies, south to Venezuela, Trinidad, Tobago the Guiana and Colombia. Northern populations are migratory, wintering on the Caribbean coast of Central America and northern South America.
Grey kingbirds are found in tall trees and shrubs, including the edges of savanna and marshes. They are often seen sitting on an exposed perch high in a tree. They aggressively defend their territory against intruders, including mammals and much larger birds such as caracaras. This bird feeds primarily on aerial insects. The male builds a delicate cup nest in a tree, in which the female lays two cream-colored eggs.
The adult grey kingbird is 23 cm long and weighs 47 g. Its forked tail and wings are darker. Juveniles have browner upperparts. This bird often is mistaken for the tropical mockingbird (Mimus gilvus) but is distinguished by its upright stance, heavy bill, a black stripe through its eyes and loud pipiri pipiri song. This song is the reason behind many of its local names, like 'Pimpiri' on the Lesser Antilles.
Photo credit: Miro Zumrik (SHAPE/DCNA)
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