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Profile: Western Kingbird

  • Published Sunday, May 5, 2013, at 7:26 a.m.

Tyrannous verticalis

Western kingbirds have probably been a part of the Kansas countryside for thousands of years, but life is probably much easier now..

Two centuries ago, they nested in the rare cottonwood along a prairie stream or river, several pairs sharing the same tree if needed.

These days, they nest in everything from oaks to apple trees, and will even nest in barns and on power poles.

The birds once relied on buffalo hair, but now use cattle hair and sheep’s wool to line their nests.

The eight-inch, yellow-breasted, insect eating birds are also vocal with a loud, chattering call.

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