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 59 videos
A bird arriving to its perch with a prey, eating it and rubbing its bill Locality Girardot, Cundinamarca Department, Colombia (ssp melancholicus)
Pere Sugranyes 30 November 2006 5 years ago 12 sec 4.6
Two different individuals, perched in the same tree Locality Chaclacayo, Lima Department, Peru (ssp melancholicus)
Wim ten Have 4 May 2013 1 week ago ADDED LAST MONTH 22 sec 4.5
By the reserve Wetland. A common species here. Locality Guapi Açu Ecological Reserve (REGUA), Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil (ssp melancholicus presumably)
Ron Jackson 29 May 2012 44 weeks 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 2 years ago 49 sec 4.4
A bird perching low on a stump and taking off. Locality Buenos Aires Province, Argentina (ssp melancholicus)
German Pugnali 19 November 2006 4 years ago 15 sec 4.4
A bird perched, looking around and flying away Locality Formosa, Goiás State, Brazil (ssp melancholicus)
Josep del Hoyo 15 January 2005 5 years ago 31 sec 4.3
PhotosSee all 82 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 3 years ago 4.7
Bird perched on a limb.
Locality Panama City, Panama Province, Panama (ssp satrapa)
Dannie Polley 17 October 2010 2 years ago 4.5
Locality Paso Caballos, Chinandega Department, Nicaragua
Orlando Jarquín G. 2 November 2012 24 weeks ago 4.3
Individual perched on a branch.
Locality Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina (ssp melancholicus)
Santiago Meligeni Lozano 18 March 2011 2 years ago 4.3
Locality Alajuelita, San José, San José Province, Costa Rica
Róger Rodríguez 2 March 2013 9 weeks ago 4
On a branvh
Locality Akumal, Quintana Roo State, Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico (Southern)
Guy Poisson 30 December 2012 18 weeks ago 4
Calls from a pair. Locality Pousada Rio Azul, Pará State, Brazil
Bradley Davis 9 October 2007 3 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 22 weeks ago 0
Bird singing in a open area. Locality Intervales State Park, São Paulo State, Brazil
Antonio Silveira 1 December 1999 40 weeks ago 0