Regularity: Regularly occurring
Type of Residency: Breeding
Global Range: BREEDING: southeastern Arizona (common in Guadalupe Canyon, uncommon elsewhere in southeastern Arizona), extreme southwestern New Mexico, Sonora, southwestern Chihuahua, Sinaloa, and western Durango south to Guerrero, state of Mexico, Morelos, southern Puebla, and western Oaxaca. NON-BREEDING: northwestern Mexico south through breeding range to southwestern Mexico, casually to western Guatemala (AOU 1983).
Length: 24 cm
Weight: 56 grams
Comments: Arid scrub, savanna, riparian woodland, clearings in deciduous forest, and open situations with scattered trees (Tropical and lower Subtropical zones) (AOU 1983). BREEDING: Apparently nests in trees. Two nests found in 1959 were located in sycamores, 15-18 m above ground (Terres 1980).
Habitat and Ecology
Non-Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species do not make significant seasonal migrations. Juvenile dispersal is not considered a migration.
Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).
Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.
Breeding populations in U.S. and northern Mexico move south for winter; found year-round throughout most of range.
Comments: Probably very similar to other kingbirds that feed on a wide variety of insects and small fruits.
Life History and Behavior
Clutch size 3-4.
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Tyrannus crassirostris
Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.
See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.
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Download FASTA File
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Tyrannus crassirostris
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: N2B - Imperiled
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
The thick-billed kingbird (Tyrannus crassirostris) is a large bird in the Tyrannidae family, the tyrant flycatchers. This bird breeds from southeastern Arizona, extreme southwestern New Mexico, and northern Sonora, (the Madrean sky islands), in the United States and Mexico, through western and western-coastal Mexico, south to western Guatemala.
This is a large tyrant flycatcher, with adults measuring 23.5 cm (9.3 in) in length. Adults are dusky olive-brown on the upperparts with light underparts; they have a long dark brown or black tail. The underside is a dull white to pale yellow. They have a yellow patch on their crown, but is not visible very often. The bill on this species, for which it is named, is rather large-and-stocky compared to other members of this group and it is one of this kingbirds most distinguishing characteristics. The call is a loud, whistled pwaareeet.
Thick-billed kingbirds usually occur in arid or partly arid areas in streamside riparian canyons, or open areas near water. They are particularly fond of sycamore woodland edges. They make a nest in a tree branch, usually close to the trunk above 6 meters high. The female lays three to five eggs.
These birds are mostly resident in territories year round, but birds in the United States will retreat southward for the winter.