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Off topic: Familiar with the Grey kingbird?

Maria Elena (Caribbean - USDA Zone 13a)
7 years ago
last modified: 7 years ago


I was working in the front yard yesterday afternoon and something hit me rather hard atop my head. It felt like an orange fell on my head. Not knowing what it was, I just proceeded to the backyard. When I again walked past the same area, I was struck once more.

This time I noticed it was a Pitirre or Grey kingbird swooping down from atop an electrical line. That bird has been perched there for about two weeks. The bird stayed vigilant and was ready to attack again. I noticed it kept flying into the almond tree across the street in the school yard. Perhaps it's nesting there. I guess birds don't understand the delineation of fences & gates.

The attached photo was the best I could get. The bird is silver grey on top and white underneath from beak to tail. I thought I saw black stripes along its sides but don't see that in the photo. It is smaller than a pigeon, approx the size of a raven but fatter, and about 8" long.

I double-checked Wiki and it is apparently defending its territory. "Gray kingbirds wait on an exposed perch and aggressively defend their territory against intruders, including mammals and much larger birds such as hawks."

However, its territory cannot include the yards of this house, nor the neighbor's where there are two little children playing. Nor the street or the schoolyard.

How can I get it to stop charging people's heads like that? A lot of people walk & jog this path to the community center. Can you imagine it attacking children playing under that almond tree? Good thing school's out for the summer ... Hey, that's a song!