Tropical Kingbird (Tyrannus melancholicus) - HBW 9, p. 419
French: Tyran mélancolique
Spanish: Tirano Melancólico
Other common names: Heine’s Kingbird (“T. apolites”)
Taxonomy: Tyrannus melancholicus Vieillot, 1819, Paraguay.
Closest relatives of genus may be Empidonomus and Tyrannopsis; recent molecular-sequence data indicate present genus is monophyletic and sister-group to clade that includes Empidonomus and Griseotyrannus; two main clades within genus, loosely corresponding to “tropical species assemblage” and combination of “W” & “E” species groups of earlier authors, but with some exceptions. Present species formerly treated as conspecific with T. couchii owing to limited hybridization in Mexico (S Veracruz, Atlantic slope of N Oaxaca), and possibly intergra.. View all taxonomy...
Closest relatives of genus may be Empidonomus and Tyrannopsis; recent molecular-sequence data indicate present genus is monophyletic and sister-group to clade that includes Empidonomus and Griseotyrannus; two main clades within genus, loosely corresponding to “tropical species assemblage” and combination of “W” & “E” species groups of earlier authors, but with some exceptions. Present species formerly treated as conspecific with T. couchii owing to limited hybridization in Mexico (S Veracruz, Atlantic slope of N Oaxaca), and possibly intergrades with it, but differs significantly in voice. Furthermore, recent molecular data indicate that these two are not each other’s closest relatives, but that present species is sister to T. dominicensis, with both nested within an expanded “tropical assemblage” as sister-group to an unresolved clade consisting of T. albogularis, T. couchii and T. savana. In addition, a possible hybrid “T. apolites” between present species and Empidonomus varius described from Rio de Janeiro area of SE Brazil. Geographical variation over the species’ enormous range very inadequately known, and current taxonomy potentially erroneous; race satrapa apparently intergrades with nominate. Three subspecies currently recognized.
Subspecies and Distribution:
- satrapa (Cabanis & Heine, 1859) - extreme SW USA (SE Arizona, SW New Mexico, S Texas) and W & E Mexico (both slopes S from Sonora, Tamaulipas and S San Luis Potosí to SE Veracruz and E Oaxaca; also Yucatán Peninsula) S to Panama, N Colombia and much of N Venezuela (mostly N of R Orinoco, also along S bank in NW Bolívar); also Trinidad, Tobago, Grenada and Netherlands Antilles.
- melancholicus Vieillot, 1819 - throughout tropical South America (except N Colombia, N Venezuela and NE Brazil) S to WC Peru (Lima) and, E of Andes, to SE Bolivia and C Argentina (S to Neuquén and NC Río Negro).
- despotes (M. H. K. Lichtenstein, 1823) - NE Brazil (Amapá, Maranhão and Ceará S to Bahia).
- Least Concern Enlarge map
VideosSee all 71 videos
close to the guesthouse Locality Montezuma Peak Road, Montezuma Peak, Tatama National Park, Colombia (ssp melancholicus)
Daniêl Jimenez 11 November 2014 1 year ago 35 sec 4.8
bird nesting at the entrance of the camp - rainy day Locality Orinoco Delta Logde, Caño Guamal, Monagas State, Venezuela
Thore Noernberg 29 May 2015 46 weeks ago 22 sec 4.8
Two different individuals, perched in the same tree Locality Chaclacayo, Lima Department, Peru (ssp melancholicus)
Wim ten Have 4 May 2013 2 years ago 22 sec 4.7
A bird beating a large saturnid moth on a branch. Locality Pocosol Biological Station, Children's Eternal Rainforest, Monteverde, Costa Rica (ssp satrapa)
Richard Garrigues 15 April 2014 1 year ago 25 sec 4.6
By the reserve Wetland. A common species here; subespecies melancholicus presumably. Locality Guapi Açu Ecological Reserve (REGUA), Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil
Ron Jackson 29 May 2012 3 years ago 54 sec 4.4
A juvenil on a wire preening Locality San Miguel, Santiago de Cali, Valle del Cauca Department, Colombia
Pere Sugranyes 25 June 2008 5 years ago 49 sec 4.4
PhotosSee all 148 photos
Adult bird drying in the sun after a rain forest shower.
Locality Arnos Vale, Scarborough, Tobago, Trinidad and Tobago (ssp satrapa)
Steve Garvie 1 July 2006 6 years ago 4.6
Locality Itariri, São Paulo State, Brazil
Lindolfo Souto 2 November 2014 1 year ago 4.6
Adult on a perch.
Locality Parque Perla, Lago Agrio, Sucumbios Province, Ecuador (ssp melancholicus)
Dusan M. Brinkhuizen 12 December 2014 1 year ago 4.5
bird perched on wire during rain
Locality Paramaribo, Paramaribo District, Suriname
Tom Heijnen 10 February 2011 2 years ago 4.5
Photo taken on a sunny morning.
Locality Teresópolis, Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil (ssp melancholicus)
SergioPorto 4 January 2014 2 years ago 4.5
Bird perched on a limb.
Locality Panama City, Panama Province, Panama (ssp satrapa)
Dannie Polley 17 October 2010 5 years ago 4.5
On a wire, including song Locality Marina Pez Vela, Puerto Quetzal, Escuintla Department, Guatemala
Joe Angseesing 31 January 2016 7 weeks ago 4.5
A bird calling. Locality Barbas-Bremen Natural Regional Park, Colombia
Peter Boesman 3 January 2010 1 year ago 4
Song Locality Puerto Piracuacito, Santa Fe Province, Argentina
Martin Manassero 27 December 2013 2 years ago 4
Calls from a pair. Locality Pousada Rio Azul, Pará State, Brazil
Bradley Davis 9 October 2007 6 years ago 3
Bird singing on top of high tree. Locality Instituto Butantan, São Paulo City, São Paulo State, Brazil
Antonio Silveira 8 December 2012 3 years ago 0
Bird singing in a open area. Locality Intervales State Park, São Paulo State, Brazil
Antonio Silveira 1 December 1999 3 years ago 0