Eastern Kingbird (Tyran tritri) Tyrannus tyrranus
Nest with three young
Creekside Church Area
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!