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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Cassin's Kingbird -- Tyrannus vociferans

RANGE: Breeds from central California, southern Utah, Colorado, and southeastern Montana south to Mexico, and east to western Texas. Winters in Mexico and Central America; irregularly from central California.

STATUS: Fairly common.

HABITAT: Occurs in open country such as plains and semideserts, in a variety of habitats from desert riparian areas up to 7,500 feet and in open woodlands in southwestern mountains. Inhabits pinyon-yucca, pinyon-juniper, pine-oak, and ponderosa pine woodlands, canyons of sycamores, and in California, open valley woodlands and grasslands of the foothills among scattered oaks, cottonwoods, and sycamores.


NEST: Usually nests in fairly tall trees such as pine, oak, cottonwood, walnut, hackberry, or sycamore. Places nest near the end of a horizontal limb 8 to 40 feet, but up to 100 feet, above the ground. Also places nests in bushes and on posts.

FOOD: Primarily eats insects, but also spiders and fleshy fruits.

REFERENCES: Beal 1912, Bent 1942, Hespenheide 1964, Johnsgard 1979, Ohlendorf 1974, Terres 1980, Terrill in Farrand 1983b.

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