Saturday, 5 July 2014

Eastern Kingbird Nest with Young

Eastern Kingbird (Tyran tritri) Tyrannus tyrranus
Nest with three young
Creekside Church Area
Waterloo, ON
5 July 2014


     Most Saturday mornings I visit my favourite deli, do my banking etc. and on the way to run my errands I visit a half dozen local birding spots. Having done this for several years I have a pretty good idea of what to expect at these locations in different seasons.
     There is a large evangelical church (getting bigger all the time and building over my birding plot) which has contained a few surprises from time to time. This morning I was delighted to locate an active nest of Eastern Kingbird there, and could clearly see the young birds, already quite big, being fed by the parents. I had binoculars and scope with me, but no camera, so when I arrived back home Miriam and I returned to Creekside with cameras in hand.
     The nest was hardly in an ideal situation for photography but we managed (Miriam more so than me) to get several shots to illustrate our discovery.

Adult at the nest with young
     I am always a little amused at the scientific name for this species - Tyrannus tyrannus - for it seems such a gentle little bird, hardly deserving of such a menacing moniker. I guess if you were this unfortunate dragonfly you might think that Tyrannus tyrannus was entirely appropriate!


     The adult bird attempted several times to stuff the dragonfly into the mouth of a hungry youngster, but without success. Perhaps the adult finally severed the wings before trying again.

     After feeding their young the adults would generally perch close by for a minute or two before going back out to gather more prey.


     As soon as the parents approached anywhere near the nest the gapes of the nestlings opened wide in anticipation of an insect snack.



     When I first located the nest this morning I observed only two young, but when Miriam and I returned we saw three open mouths very clearly.



     These young birds appear to be close to fledging and we'll check back to see them learning from their parents just how to develop into a true Tyrannus tyrannus!


17 comments:

  1. Very nice Pictures of the nests and the feeding. Great!

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  2. A lovely surprise for you. It is "interesting" sometimes to look at bird names, both scientific and common, and wonder why they were given.

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  3. Beautiful photos of feeding the young birds.

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  4. Très belle série!
    La maman semble t'avoir repéré et est très inquiète?

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  5. Nice captures.. .. Congratulations and greetings.

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  6. Beautiful to feeding the birds.
    Beautifully portrayed.
    Greetings Tinie

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  7. Well worth going back for these super images, David! I'm intrigued by the fluffy appearance of the nest. Is it a bird product or have they foraged it from somewhere?

    You've started me wondering whether I should be paying more attention to scientific names, and maybe using them in my blog for the benefit of non-English speaking people.

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    1. Hi Richard: I am totally in favour of using scientific names. It removes any possible confusion. Here, non birders refer to a certain bird as a Wild Canary - but some of them mean American Goldfinch and some are describing Yellow Warbler. The addition of the scientific name eliminates any doubt about which species is being discussed.

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    2. Hi again Richard: I think that the fluffy stuff is sheep's wool. The nest of Eastern Kingbird is generally a little scruffy!

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  8. Awesome....truly some great photo shares. I hope you won't mind, but since you left a comment today, I took the liberty of adding your link to the list of birders ... If you don't want it there, please let me know and I'll remove it. I'm sure the other birding enthusiasts will enjoy viewing these.

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    1. I am honoured to be included, Anni. Thank you.

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  9. Really exciting find of these birds and their nestlings! Love the photos!

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  10. very nice to see it at it´s nest. Thanks!

    http://nfbird.blogspot.se/2014/07/trana-grus-grus-common-crane.html

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  11. Oh dear................. He's got a dragonfly in the beak!!
    More seriously, a lovely set of pics that gives a pretty good idea of how great parents they are!
    The last photo is a must, not a colorful bird but it has beautiful markings especially on the tail!!
    Great post!

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  12. The second picture is quite a car to show that the parent has a nice food prey in its mouth. Beautifully photographed David!!

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  13. Latest photo came out nice :)

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