Cassin’s Kingbird & Co.

Tyrannus vociferansIn what seems to be only the second New York state record, a Cassin’s Kingbird (Tyrannus vociferans) has been hanging out next to Floyd Bennett Field’s community garden. The species’ usual habitat is in the Southwest and Mexico, so it’s a long way from home. The temperature was in the 30s when I saw the bird yesterday; the bird was hawking from pillar to post… for what, exactly? What insects is it hunting in this weather? Before Wednesday’s rain, the bird was reportedly eating yellowjackets. Get thee south, bird!Tyrannus vociferansThe white edging to the tail, blue-gray head, and white malar and chin are the important field marks. In flight, the yellow belly is bright as butter in the sun. The bird is named after John Cassin (1813-1869), curator at the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences.

Sialia sialisI also came across some Eastern Bluebirds (Sialia sialis). Buteo lineatusAnd a juvenile Red-Shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus), too young yet for the red-shoulders and chest, stalking the pine woods around the camp grounds.dhbAnd the view across Flatbush Ave. at Dead Horse Bay. Yeah, Brooklyn!

1 Response to “Cassin’s Kingbird & Co.”


  1. 1 Susan November 29, 2014 at 9:05 am

    Thanks for sharing all your beautiful
    discoveries. Less adventurous than you, I can view earth’s creatures
    as I sit in my warm living room. I feel so
    fortunate.


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