Western Kingbird (Tyrannus verticalis)


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If I were going to be a bird and wanted to coolest Latin name in perhaps the entire animal kingdom, I think I would want to be Tyrannus verticalis. How cool is that? But why would this little flycatcher get such a name? Because, as David Lukas, Sierra Nevada Birds, says: "More than anything else, kingbirds are noted for their pugnacious territory defence, which may be leveled at any winged intruders except members of their own species.[…] So fearless are kingbirds that they may cling to the back of larger birds, up to the size of Red-tailed Hawks, pecking at them as they fly away."

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