Eastern KingbirdAn Eastern Kingbird in Southwestern Montana – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/2000, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

Eastern Kingbirds are found in many western states and western Canada even though it has “eastern” in its name. Kind of a misleading name but the ranges of the Eastern and Western Kingbirds do overlap so I am sure some type of distinction had to be made. In the area of southwestern Montana where I photographed this Eastern Kingbird both species breed and nest and it is delightful to be able to compare them.

This might be a juvenile Eastern Kingbird though I am not absolutely certain that it is. Maybe someone viewing the image could positively identify it as an adult or juvenile.

Eastern Kingbirds; like their western counterpart, are fearless and will attack birds as large as Bald Eagles to defend their nests. They may be much smaller than the birds they attack but they are little tyrants which is how they earned their scientific name “Tyrannus tyrannus“.

By now many Eastern Kingbirds have begun to or will be shortly migrating to their wintering grounds in Central and South America and while they are gone I will miss seeing them hawking from barbed wire perches and fence posts but I look forward to seeing their antics again next spring.

I did a little research and found out that a nickname for Eastern Kingbirds is “bee martin” because of their habit of hanging around beehives and eating honey bee drones as fast as they can.

Eastern Kingbirds are fascinating, dapper looking birds that I always enjoy seeing in my viewfinder!