Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Grey Kingbird (Tyrannus dominicensis)


French: Tyran gris German: Graukönigstyrann Spanish: Tirano dominicano

[Lanius Tyrannus] dominicensis

J. F. Gmelin

, 1788,

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic


Affinities uncertain. Possible hybridization with T. melancholicus reported in SE USA#R. Race vorax only weakly differentiated. Two subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. d. dominicensis (J. F. Gmelin, 1788) – SE USA (SE Mississippi to Florida, rarely N to North Carolina), Bahamas and Greater Antilles, and also locally in NC Venezuela (S to Apure), Trinidad and Tobago, Curaçao, Bonaire, and possibly N Colombia; winters from Panama S to C Colombia, S & E Venezuela and the Guianas.
  • T. d. vorax Vieillot, 1819 – Lesser Antilles.
  • Descriptive notes

    21–25 cm; 44–47 g. Dark grey head, crown feathers with dusky shaft streaks, semi-concealed yellow-orange to orange or red coronal patch; dusky lores, subocular... read more


    Common call emphatic, shrill and rambling “pit-piteerri-ri-ree” or “pitch-chir... read more


    Primarily dry and open habitats in coastal areas near water, generally avoiding dense forest; also... read more

    Food and feeding

    Wide variety of large flying insects taken, including beetles (Coleoptera), hymenopterans, orthopterans, bugs (Hemipera), flies (Diptera),... read more


    Laying from late May in N of range, from Apr in SE USA (Florida); Mar–Jul in West Indies; females in breeding condition Mar–May... read more


    Largely resident from Hispaniola E through Lesser Antilles. Most populations of nominate migrate... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common; one of the commonest and most conspicuous species throughout West Indies; breeding in Venezuela only quite recently recorded... read more

    Recommended citation

    Mobley, J. (2019). Grey Kingbird (Tyrannus dominicensis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 8 December 2019).