Tropical Kingbirds at Little River Airport

Three Ring-necked Ducks were the best birds found during my Little River Airport walk until I was well on my way back. I have only found them the last three years and this is the earliest date that they have been here.

While walking back I happened to catch a glimpse of a bird landing on a pile of bushes on the south side. I rarely bird that side of the airport. While I pondered walking over to see what it was, another bird chased it off the pile. I saw a flash of yellow and I was on my way across the airport. Yellow is good and I suspected a Kingbird. Looking both ways when I crossed the runway I made my way to south side:-) It is after all a working airport. 

There were actually two Kingbirds and they kept bumping each other off of piles of bushes as they made their way east. I had to hustle to catch up with them and they never let me get close. I realized they were not Western Kingbirds, the more common Kingbird in Mendocino County. That would leave Tropical Kingbirds as the logical choice. After reviewing the pictures that’s what they turned out to be. Tropical Kingbirds are listed as extremely rare in Mendocino. They are a Mendocino Bird for me, my seventh of this year. Not bad for a “green” birding year.

Tropical Kingbird’s northern breeding limits are southeastern Arizona and the lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas. After breeding some wander up the west coast and this pair flew into the airport on Saturday.

They are bird species number 236 for the year with over 2330 carbon producing truck miles saved.




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