Thick-billed Kingbird

Tyrannus crassirostris


David Lambeth
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eBird Checklist S49411508
Cross Ranch SP
Oliver, North Dakota, United States
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Latitude and Longitude 47.2139, -100.997 Map



Observation details

This bird was found and photographed yesterday (Oct 22) by Dale Heinert and William Peterson. Their report is checklist S49380768. We observed the bird flying from Russian Olive shrubs on both sides of an oxbow that had open water about 25 feet wide and 150 feet long. It appeared to be catching insects over the open water of oxbow cutoff that was located about 50 yards west of the Missouri River channel. It was heard giving calls that were identical to the sound recording in I-Bird Pro, and described as "pureet" in the National Geographic guide. Our party returned to this site in mid-afternoon in hopes that the warmer temperature would bring out insects that the kingbird could hawk. In early morning the temperature was below freezing, but had warmed to about 55 deg when we saw the bird at 3:15. The head pattern (dark head and even darker mask) distinguishes this bird as a Thick-billed and not one of the other North American kingbirds (Western, Cassins, Tropical, Couch's) with a lemon-yellow belly. Also the bill is much thicker than the other yellowish kingbirds. The back overall is dark without wingbars. It also had a thick-neck appearance. The considerable yellow of the belly indicates that this is a first fall bird (see NG guide), and this seems consistent with a kingbird that is so far north of its lower 48 range (se AZ). Most of Heinart's photos shows better details of the back and tail than the ones I obtained. This is a most unexpected record for North Dakota.

Technical Information

Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Lens model
EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM
Focal length
371 mm
Shutter speed
1/1500 sec
Flash did not fire, auto
Original file size
1874 x 1498

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