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 65 videos
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 25 weeks ago 25 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 year ago 22 sec 4.6
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 6 years ago 12 sec 4.6
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 2 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 4 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 5 years ago 15 sec 4.4
PhotosSee all 119 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 4 years ago 4.6
Locality Itariri, São Paulo State, Brazil
Lindolfo Souto 2 November 2014 2 weeks ago ADDED LAST MONTH 4.6
Bird perched on a limb.
Locality Panama City, Panama Province, Panama (ssp satrapa)
Dannie Polley 17 October 2010 4 years ago 4.5
Tropical Kingbird playing with his food. (He's lost his tail feathers to a Cooper's Hawk. This kingbird is relatively rare in No
Locality Heather Farms, Walnut Creek, Contra Costa County, California, USA (United States)
Ethan Winning 23 March 2014 33 weeks ago 4.3
Photo taken on a sunny morning.
Locality Teresópolis, Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil (ssp melancholicus)
SergioPorto 4 January 2014 46 weeks ago 4.3
Locality Paso Caballos, Chinandega Department, Nicaragua
Orlando Jarquín G. 2 November 2012 1 year ago 4.3
A bird calling. Locality Barbas-Bremen Natural Regional Park, Colombia
Peter Boesman 3 January 2010 22 weeks ago 4
Song Locality Puerto Piracuacito, Santa Fe Province, Argentina
Martin Manassero 27 December 2013 47 weeks ago 4
Calls from a pair. Locality Pousada Rio Azul, Pará State, Brazil
Bradley Davis 9 October 2007 4 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 1 year ago 0
Bird singing in a open area. Locality Intervales State Park, São Paulo State, Brazil
Antonio Silveira 1 December 1999 2 years ago 0