The Recent Expansion of Tropical Kingbird in Arizona

Articles | By Doug Jenness | Accepted April 05, 2015

The Tropical Kingbird (Tyrannus melancholicus) has a wide distribution throughout the Americas, but in the United States breeds only in southern Arizona and southern and western Texas (Stouffer and Chesser 1998). There is also one documented breeding record in New Mexico (pers. comm. S. Williams). In Arizona the Tropical Kingbird is migratory and is typically present only during the breeding season (Phillips et al. 1964, Corman 2005). There are only two confirmed winter records of this kingbird in the state, both in Maricopa County (Stevenson and Rosenberg 2004(a); Stevenson and Rosenberg 2013(a)). At the conclusion of the Breeding Birds of Arizona Atlas project, Corman (2005) predicted that “based on their history in the state, the nesting distribution of Tropical Kingbirds is expected to continue expanding in Arizona.” The aim of this study is to review that expansion.