Tropical Kingbird /tirano tropical (Tyrannus melancholicus)
Status: Locally uncommon to common resident in urban areas from Port Isabel to Mission.
The status of this species has changed in recent years. Before 1991, there was just one record documented by specimen from Brownsville in 1909. In the summer of 1991, a pair of Tropical Kingbirds nested in Brownsville and the species hasn’t looked back since. Today, the Tropical Kingbird population has virtually exploded in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Although the heart of their “urban” range runs from Brownsville to Mission, birds can also be found along the coast in Port Isabel to the western edge of Hidalgo County at La Joya.
Habitat: Open areas, especially fond of golf courses.
Best Spots: Saint Joseph Academy (Brownsville) football stadium, Harlingen’s City Lake, and golf courses from Brownsville to Mission.
Similar Species: Because Tropical and Couch’s Kingbirds are virtually identical in appearance (although the bill of Tropical Kingbird averages longer and less tapered), voice becomes essential in distinguishing the two species.
A speaker symbol next to the bird indicates that it has a sound file available.
All Bird call recordings © John C. Arvin.
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Nine Unique Locations
A Birder's Eye View of the Seasons in the Lower Rio Grande Valley
Welcome to a birder’s eye view of the seasons in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Enjoy our annual cycle! The resulting avifauna in deep South Texas is the most diverse north of the Mexican border. The four county area that makes up the lower Rio Grande Valley has recorded over 500 species of birds. This is more species of birds than have been recorded in all but two or three entire states. Small wonder that birders from across the continent make pilgrimages to the region. Happy Birding!
Birds Check List
What is a checklist?
A "Bird Checklist" is a complete list of birds that have been seen or heard in a specific region like Texas or the Rio Grande Valley. Checklists can be used as a personal diary of your travels.
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Checklists by site: