It won’t be long before I start seeing Eastern and Western Kingbirds showing up here in northern Utah for their breeding season. Both species perch near open areas and catch insects in flight or dive towards the insects on the ground. Both species are very aggressive in their territories and will even attack much larger raptors that might come close to their nests.
I feel fortunate that I am able to see and photograph both the Western and Eastern Kingbird juveniles here in northern Utah. I have photographed Western Kingbirds building their nests and incubating their eggs but haven’t had that same opportunity with Eastern Kingbirds.
I have had many opportunities to photograph juvenile Eastern and Western Kingbirds in Utah, Idaho and Montana. They look very much like the adults after they have fledged but their colors seem softer and both species have pinkish gapes as juveniles that the adults do not have.
I’ve found that both species can be challenging to photograph because they move very quickly and and don’t have a predictable take off pattern.
Both the Western and Eastern Kingbirds are rather noisy and some times that is why I hear them before I see them and can pinpoint their location easily.
Life is good.
The Western Kingbird juvenile was photographed at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in August of 2013 and the Western Kingbird juvenile was photographed at Farmington Bay WMA in August of 2015.