Adult Eastern Kingbirds are grey-black on the upperparts with light underparts; they have a long black tail with a white end and long pointed wings. They have a red patch on their crown, seldom seen. They are of average size for a kingbird, at 19 to 23 cm (7.5 to 9.1 in), 33 to 38 cm (13 to 15 in) across the wings and weighing 33 to 55 g.

Habitat and Distribution

The Eastern Kingbird 's breeding habitat is open areas across North America from where it originates. It also migrates in flocks to South America. There is one European record, from Ireland in October 2012.


They wait on an open perch and fly out to catch insects in flight, sometimes hovering to pick food off vegetation. They also eat berries and fruit, mainly in their wintering areas.


They make a sturdy cup nest. Some eastern kingbirds place their nests in the open while others hide nests very well. Eastern kingbirds in Southern British Columbia can nest in open fields; in shrubs over open water; high in tall trees and on top of small stumps.These birds aggressively defend their territory, even against much larger birds.

Calls and Songs

The call is a high-pitched, buzzing and unmusical chirp, frequently compared to an electric fence.