Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Thick-billed Kingbird (Tyrannus crassirostris)


French: Tyran à bec épais German: Dickschnabel-Königstyrann Spanish: Tirano piquigrueso

Tyrannus crassirostris


, 1826,

Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico


See T. vociferans. Race pompalis weakly differentiated; may be better synonymized. Two subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. c. pompalis Bangs & J. L. Peters, 1928 – S USA (extreme SE Arizona, extreme SW New Mexico) and W Mexico (Pacific slope from N Sonora, W Chihuahua, Sinaloa and W Durango S to Colima).
  • T. c. crassirostris Swainson, 1826 – SW Mexico (Guerrero, Morelos, S Puebla, W & C Oaxaca); in winter S to W Chiapas, rarely W Guatemala.
  • Descriptive notes

    20·5–24 cm; 50–60 g. Plumage is mostly greyish-olive to dusky brown above, head darker greyish or dusky brown, semi-concealed yellow coronal patch; nape lighter... read more


    Typical call a loud, shrill “cur-a-reep” or “kitereer”; other common calls include loud high-... read more


    Mostly arid to semi-arid areas with sycamore (Platanus wrightii) groves near lowland... read more

    Food and feeding

    Poorly known. Thought to be primarily insectivorous; stomach contents of a single specimen included a large seed, suggesting that fruit... read more


    In S USA, female with fully developed egg in early Jun (SE Arizona) and nest-building observed from mid-Jun (New Mexico); in Mexico mostly... read more


    Populations of race pompalis from Arizona, New Mexico and N Sonora said to be at least... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common to common. Estimated global population 2,000,000 individuals. First recorded in USA in 1958, since when slow N expansion; now uncommon... read more

    Recommended citation

    Mobley, J. (2020). Thick-billed Kingbird (Tyrannus crassirostris). 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 19 January 2020).