An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

Eastern Kingbirds Eat More Than Insects

7-23-13 eastern kingbird  687When one thinks of an Eastern Kingbird, one pictures an aggressive bird launching itself from a branch into the air and gracefully swooping up an insect which is quickly consumed. Eastern Kingbirds are members of the Tyrant Flycatcher (Tyrranidae) family, and, as this name implies, feed primarily on insects. Thus, the sight of an Eastern Kingbird flying down to a blueberry bush and retrieving a blueberry was unexpected. Minutes after this picture was taken, the kingbird flew to its nest and placed the berry in the mouth of one of its nestlings. Unbeknownst to many, during cold and wet or hot and dry weather, especially as the summer progresses, an Eastern Kingbird’s diet is supplemented with many species of fruit, including cherries, serviceberries, blackberries, elderberries, nightshade and blueberries. During fall migration Eastern Kingbirds begin to eat a significant amount of fruit, and fruit makes up most of their diet on their South American wintering grounds.

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6 responses

  1. Mary, I just love this photo! A stunning portrait of the bird. And great info as always.

    July 23, 2013 at 11:03 am

    • Thanks so much, Susan. Coming from an artist, I am extremely flattered!

      July 23, 2013 at 11:40 am

  2. John Gutowski

    Great picture, Mary!

    July 23, 2013 at 11:18 am

  3. Marilyn

    What a great portrait! How do the nestlings keep hydrated if they are brought only insects?

    July 23, 2013 at 11:46 am

  4. Jean Harrison

    Lovely photo. Yum! And fascinating information.

    July 24, 2013 at 3:28 pm

  5. What a picture of the Kingbird , Wow!!!!!

    September 1, 2013 at 2:40 pm

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