Western Kingbird On A Wire
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This morning I drove with a friend over to the Sulphur Springs Valley, about 60 miles east of Tucson. The valley is a large flat plain situated between mountain ranges. It is at a somewhat higher elevation than Tucson and is considerably greener and cooler this time of year, resembling prairie far more than desert. In summer and winter it is a haven for birds of many species.
Things were pretty quiet there today. We saw a few large raptors, I took some pictures of them, and I’ll post them at some time in the future. We did see many smaller passerine birds, including kingbirds. Western Kingbirds are a species of flycatcher and they are summer residents of the open country near Tucson. Indeed, there are so many of these attractive birds that they almost seem to symbolize summer in these parts even as other species dominate the landscape in winter.
A Western Kingbird is about the size of a Robin or a Mockingbird. This species is insectivorous. Western Kingbirds can often be found perching on fences and low vantage points like tree stumps or earthen berms. From these slightly raised elevations they use their keen vision to hunt for flying insects, which they seize on the wing.
Image made with a Canon 5Diii, 400DO+1.4X Telextender, aperture priority setting, ISO 1250, f6.3 @ 1/2000.