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Ruler of the Roost

Western Kingbirds are often seen in the open country, perched on roadside fences and wires, flying out to snap up insects on the wing. These flycatchers only weigh about 1.4 ounces, not exactly a size that conjures thoughts of monarchs and emperors. However, don’t underestimate Western Kingbirds. They earn their name from the way they aggressively defend their territories, even against much larger birds and mammals, when they think their young are in danger. Their attacks are highly vocal, with wings fluttering ferociously. This Western Kingbird was photographed by Park Hill resident Mark Silverstein.


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