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Couch's Kingbird

ID Info
  • Couch's Kingbird
  • Couch's Kingbird
  • Couch's Kingbird  video
Silhouette FlycatchersFlycatchers
Couch's KingbirdTyrannus couchii
  • ORDER: Passeriformes
  • FAMILY: Tyrannidae

Basic Description

Couch's Kingbird is a large, yellow-and-gray flycatcher that looks nearly identical to the more widespread Tropical Kingbird. Couch's Kingbirds have a slightly greener cast to the upperparts and on balance a shorter bill, but the best way to distinguish the two species is to listen to their calls—Couch's makes a distinctive, grating kip-kip-breeeer. Couch’s Kingbird uses lightly wooded areas such as thorn forest, wooded stream edges, and suburbs; whereas Tropical tends to occupy more open habitats.

More ID Info
image of range map for Couch's Kingbird
Range map provided by Birds of the World
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Find This Bird

The best place to find Couch’s Kingbirds in the United States is in South Texas (the species has also been expanding its range along the Gulf Coast). They are migratory, so they'll be easier to find in summertime. Bypass open country (inhabited by other kingbird species) and look instead in areas with scattered trees. Be sure to brush up on their call notes, both to home in on the birds and to tell them apart from the very similar-looking Tropical Kingbird.

Other Names

  • Tirano Silbador (Spanish)
  • Tyran de Couch (French)
  • Cool Facts