Tyrannus Vociferans – Cassin’s Kingbird

Tyrannus Vociferans - Cassin's Kingbird found in the US

The Cassin’s kingbird, Tyrannus vociferans is a big tyrant flycatcher that is found throughout western North America. This bird is named after John Cassin, an American naturalist.

Quick Overview: Tyrannus Vociferans – Cassin’s Kingbird
Body size: Around 8-9 in (20-23 cm) and a weight of 45 g (1.6 oz)
Main colors: Olive-gray, Yellow, Gray, White, Black, Brown
Range: Southwest of the United States
Migratory Bird: Yes
Best time of the year to see in the U.S.: January, February, December
Conservation Status: Least Concern

Cassin’s kingbird Description

Dark olive-gray upper parts with dull yellow underparts make this a large flycatcher. It has a dark gray face mask, a white throat, and a dark gray breast. The tail is black, with a white or gray tip. Bill, limbs, and toes are all black with brown wings.

Tyrannus Vociferans - Cassin's Kingbird found in the US
Tyrannus Vociferans – Cassin’s Kingbird.Photo by: Kaaren Perry


These birds have a length of 8-9 in (20-23 cm) and a weight of 45 g (1.6 oz). Their wings could range from 15-16.5 in (38-42 cm).


Mostly insects, with a few berries thrown in for good measure. Feeds on a broad variety of insects, including wasps, beetles, caterpillars, moths, grasshoppers, real bugs, and flies, among others. Additionally, it consumes berries and fruits in greater quantities than the majority of flycatchers.


Savannas, rangelands, and pinyon-juniper forests are among these birds’ preferred habitats.


They construct a large nest on a horizontal tree branch in the mid-story or tree canopy. The three to five speckled white eggs hatch after an 18 to 19 day incubation period. The Cassin’s kingbird subsists primarily on insects that it hawks from high perches. Additionally, it consumes berries and fruits in smaller quantities. The call is a brief, high-pitched chirp followed by a prolonged chirp that sounds similar to chi-beer.

Tyrannus Vociferans Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Chelicerata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Tyrannidae
  • Genus: Tyrannus
  • Species: Tyrannus vociferans

Best time of the year to see

The best time to see these birds in the United States is during the winter season (December to February).

Distribution of the Cassin’s kingbird in the USA

This species breeds in southern California and stretches through much of the southwest and into central Mexico, from southern Montana to central Mexico. Winters are spent in southern California, Baja California, and various parts of Mexico.

The Cassin’s kingbird can be found in the following states in the United States – Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona.

Tyrannus Vociferans – Cassin’s Kingbird

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