"Way-Cool Bird"

Cassin's Kingbird

cassins kingbird        I will never forget the first time I saw a Cassin's Kingbird. That's how it is when you see your 'first'; you never forget! We were on a Red Cliffs Audubon Field Trip to the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve in Nevada. We knew we were there because we had to hold our breath as we drove through the gate and into the preserve. You may think there's nothing good about a smelly, waste treatment plant, but you're wrong. Henderson, Nevada is the proud facilitator of the 147 acre migratory bird stop and wetlands with basins, lagoons, and ponds. Henderson Treatment Plant has turned their waste into a bird viewing treat. The ponds are home to almost 200 species of birds, including waterfowl, wading, and birds of prey. The reserve is free, and we visit it often.

        We were standing in front of Henderson's Wildlife Information Office when a Cassin's Kingbird was spotted high on a branch of a tree. The bird stayed perched long enough for everyone in our group to have a look. It was a beauty. The Cassin's Kingbird is similar to the familiar Western Kingbird but darker, and its black tail is lightly white-tipped but no white margins. The Cassin's Kingbird is often found high on a tree where it sits more quietly than the Western. The song of the Cassin's Kingbird is a loud chi-BEW, chi-beer, chi-beer, ch-beer-beer-beer-r-r. The look-alike Western is seen more often for it has a tendency to stay in flocks while the Cassin's Kingbird is content as a solitary hunter/observer.

        Cassin's Kingbirds show up all the time in southern Utah. Many Cassin's migrate here to breed and raise a family. They prefer habitats of savannas, rangelands, and pinyon-juniper woodlands. If you enjoy learning about birds, we invite you to attend Red Cliffs Audubon General Meetings and to go with us on Field Trips. Schedules are at . If you have questions about birds, meetings, or field trips, call Marilyn Davis at 435 673-0996.

        Brenda Rusnell is the artist for this Cassin's Kingbird. Thank you Brenda for helping us to recognize this 'way-cool' bird.

Past Articles:

"Cold Days and Good Memories"  (White Pelican) 
"Where's Sherlock Holmes When You Need Him?" (YB Cuckoo)
"Tale of Four Birders"  (Western Scrub Jay)
"East Zion Continued" (Golden-crowned Kinglet),
  Vermilion Flycatcher
"Aerial Wolves" (Sharp-shinned Hawk)
"From Clown School to Pond" (Ruddy Duck)
"Shades of Red" Red-tailed Hawk
"Predatory Songbird" (Northern Shrike)
"The Cagey Killdeer"
"A True Bird Story" (Willet)
"A Song to Remember" (Hermit Thrush)
"To Catch a Fish..." (Green Heron aka Green-backed Heron)
"No Spring Cleaning" (Brown-headed Cowbird)
"Look-alikes Galore" (Sage Sparrow)

"A Jazzy Singer" (Cassin's Finch)
"Salute the Coot" (American Coot)
"Put a Smile on Your Face" (Greater Roadrunner)
"The Tale of Fred and Ethel" (Mallard)
"A Flutter of Sparrows" (Clay-colored Sparrow)
"A Sight to Remember" (Blue-gray gnatcatcher)
"About Night Life" (Northern Saw-whet Owl)
"Black and White and Smart All Over" (BB Magpie)
"Dressed for Dinner... of Fine Wines and Bugs" (RN Sapsucker)
"A Life List" (Painted Redstart)
"Bird-Brained" (Flammulated Owl)
"Needle in a Haystack" (White-throated Sparrow)
"Booby Trap Nest" (Red-breasted Nuthatch)
"The Crowd Pleaser" (Western Tanager)
"Seeds and Civilization" (American Tree Sparrow)
"A Childhood Treasure" (Black-headed Grosbeak)
"Those Itchy Red Bumps" (Cliff Swallow)
"Is There a Bee in Your Bonnet" (Utah bees)
"Where's My Winter Coat" (Great-tailed Grackle)
"Ice Age Tree Planter" (Blue Jay)
"An Uncommon Beauty" (Black-and-white Warbler)
"What's In a Name" (American Redstart)
"When the Cold Winds Blow" (Western Grebe)
"A National Beauty" (Bald Eagle)>

"Feathered Tiger" (Cooper's Hawk)
"The Accomplished Carpenter" (Acorn Woodpecker)
"Jewels" (Evening Grosbeak)
"Observations on the Road" (Rock Pigeon)
"A Leftover Memory" (California Gull)
"Lifelong Dreams" (Greater Roadrunner)
"Who's in Your Yard"  (House Wren)
"A Touch of Blue" (Mountain Bluebirds)
"Fur and Feathers" (Spotted Owl)
"Chick-a-dee-dee-dee" (Mountain Chickadee)
"In Search of" (Red-breasted Nuthatch)
"Wanderlust" (Canada Goose)
"Einstein Birds" (American Crow)
"What Spring Brings" (American Wigeon)
"Magnificent and Adaptable" (Golden Eagle)
"The Lonliest Sound" (Common Loon)
"When a Rare One Shows" (Thayer's Gull)
"Bird of the Ocean Shores" (Brown Pelican)
"A Mature Forest" (Northern Goshawk)
"When Black Eyes are Cool" (Short-eared Owl)
"Spring Is Busting Out All Over" (American Robin)
"Acrobatic Survivor" (Common Raven)
"Are You Ready For Hummers?" (Calliope Hummingbird)
"Poppies, Rock Wren, and a Trip in Time" (Rock Wren)
"What’s On Tonaquint Pond?" (Baby Mallard Ducks)
"A Good Story, but Definitely Not High-Uintah Parrots" (Pine Grosbeak)
"Before Radio, Records, and Hi-Fi" (Northern Mockingbird)
"Bloomington Hills Drive Pond" (Birds of Southern Utah)
"Marks of Identification" (Northern Harrier)
"Nature’s Fighter Plane" (Common Nighthawk)
"King of the Western Skies"
(California Condor)
"Are Bugs On Your Diet?" Ash-throated Flycatcher
"Warblers with Cavities" Lucy's Warbler
"Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner" Steller's Jay
"Life Bird List" Indigo Bunting
"Valley of Ghosts" Burned habitat
"One Raven is a Good Omen" Raven

Home - Red Cliffs Audubon