Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Loggerhead Kingbird (Tyrannus caudifasciatus)


French: Tyran tête-police German: Antillenkönigstyrann Spanish: Tirano guatíbere

Tyrannus caudifasciatus


, 1839,



Affinities uncertain; probably closest to T. cubensis. Phylogenetic analyses place it as either basal to remainder of Tyrannus or basal to monophyletic “E & W species group” (see T. vociferans). Races based mainly on insular distribution, and some authors have suggested that species might be better treated as monotypic. In contrast, recent study#R proposes that taylori and gabbii be treated as two distinct monotypic species, based on plumage, biometrics and vocalizations; differences from other taxa (themselves generally rather variable) herein considered probably insufficient for species-level recognition. Form flavescens weakly differentiated, and may be better included in nominate#R#R. Seven subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. c. bahamensis (H. Bryant, 1864) – N Bahamas (Grand Bahama, Abaco, Andros, New Providence).
  • T. c. caudifasciatus d’Orbigny, 1839 – Loggerhead Kingbird – Cuba (including several large cays in Sabana–Camagüey and Jardines de la Reina Archipelago).
  • T. c. flavescens Parkes, 1963 – I of Pines, off SW Cuba.
  • T. c. caymanensis (Nicoll, 1904) – Cayman Is.
  • T. c. jamaicensis (Chapman, 1892) – Jamaica.
  • T. c. gabbii (Lawrence, 1876) – Hispaniolan Kingbird – Hispaniola.
  • T. c. taylori (P. L. Sclater, 1864) – Puerto Rican Kingbird – Puerto Rico (including Vieques).
  • Descriptive notes

    23–26 cm; 41·3–49·5 g (bahamensis), 35–48 g (nominate), 34·5–52 g (caymanensis). Has blackish head, yellow or... read more


    Most frequent call a loud, rolling and sputtering “teeerrp” or rising “pit-pit-pit-pit-pit-tirr-ri-... read more


    Forests, mangroves and swamp edges; also open lowland scrub in Cuba. In the Bahamas Is, Cuba,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Food, berries and seeds as well as animal matter, including invertebrates and small vertebrates, mostly small lizards; food brought to... read more


    Mainly Feb–Jul, also occasionally Nov–Jan; Apr–Jul in Cuba. Nest cup-shaped, composed of twigs, rootlets and sometimes... read more


    Resident. Casual wanderer to SE USA (S Florida).

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common and widespread within range. Apparently absent from Little Cayman I in recent years. Occurs in several national parks and... read more

    Recommended citation

    Mobley, J. & de Juana, E. (2020). Loggerhead Kingbird (Tyrannus caudifasciatus). 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 25 January 2020).