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Loggerhead Kingbird - BirdForum Opus

Subspecies "T. c. jamaicensis." Photo © by Dave Whistle
Negril, Jamaica, 10 July 2006
Tyrannus caudifasciatus


Quite dark olive-brown above and very pale below, with the crown black to below the eyes, reaching further down the rear side of the head. Tail is square, and has a white-to-buff trailing edge except for the eastern-most populations. A yellow crown patch is only seen when the bird displays. Feet and legs are black. Looking at the drawings, there seems to be a considerable size variation in the bill among the subspecies. At least some populations show a pale yellow wash on lower belly (especially undertail coverts).

Similar species

Gray Kingbird should have gray crown, not black, and a tail that is slightly forked. Eastern Kingbird has a bolder white tail band and smaller bill. Giant Kingbird has a larger bill and lacks whitish tail band .


Resident in northern Bahama Islands and Greater Antilles; rare vagrant to southern Florida. Inhabits open woodlands.


Six different subspecies are found in parts of the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico[1]. This is in other words a species limited to the Caribbean and mostly to Greater Antilles. The species does not migrate away from these islands, but may increase its habitat use during periods where Gray Kingbird is absent.


Prefers wooded areas, where it hunts from the middle to upper levels of the trees.


Likes to pluck insects from leaves and stems, not from mid air like the Gray Kingbird.


  1. Clements, J. F., P. C. Rasmussen, T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, A. Spencer, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2023. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2023. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliot, and D Christie, eds. 2004. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 9: Cotingas to Pipits and Wagtails. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334696
  3. Raffaele, H, J Wiley, OH Garrido, A Keith, JI Raffaele. 2003. Birds of the West Indies. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0691113197
  4. Garrido, O.H., Wiley, J.W. and Reynard, G.B. (2009). Taxonomy of the Loggerhead Kingbird (Tyrannus caudifasciatus) complex (Aves: Tyrannidae). Wilson Journal of Ornithology. 121(4): 703–713.

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