English and Scientific names:

Gray Kingbird (Tyrannus dominicensis)

Number of individuals: 

1 adult

Locality: LOUISIANA: 


Specific Locality:

California Canal, Trinity Island, Isles Dernieres

Date(s) when observed:

25 May 2008

Time(s) of day when observed:  

~9:50-10:00 AM CDT

Reporting observer and address:

Justin Bosler


Lancaster, PA  17601

Other observers accompanying reporter who also identified the bird(s):

Edward J. Raynor

Other observers who independently identified the bird(s)


Light conditions (position of bird in relation to shade and to direction and amount of light):

Excellent light conditions with sun directly overhead.

Optical equipment: 

Zeiss Victory FL 8x42 binocular (good condition)

Distance to bird(s): 

Within 8-10 meters at closest point.

Duration of observation:

Approximately 10 minutes.


A small sliver of coastal scrub-woods dominated by black mangrove (Avicennia germinans) along a saline canal on a large barrier island.

Behavior of bird: 

Actively fly-catching from high, exposed perches in the tree line on the N side of the California Canal.  Often sallying out for large aerial arthropods and returning to the same or an adjacent perch.  Large prey items bashed against hard surface to kill before consumption.  All typical kingbird behavior.


A large flycatcher patterned with medium gray above and whitish below.  A faint grayish wash was noticeable on the breast and sides as was some dull, pale yellow on the lower belly and undertail coverts.  A dark brownish tinge to upperwings and tail with pale-edged upperwing coverts and secondaries.  Long, dark gray-brown tail was notched.  Large head was well-marked with a blackish mask and massive black bill.


Remained silent.

Similar species:

Most kingbirds can be eliminated by the medium gray upperparts and whitish underparts.  Much paler above than Eastern Kingbird (EAKI) with more robust structure, dark mask, and massive bill.  Further eliminating EAKI is the long, notched tail lacking a white terminal tail band.

Photographs or tape recordings obtained?

Photos by Justin Bosler and attached.

Previous experience with this species: 

Seen on several occasions in coastal and s. FL, but also once in se. PA (1st state record) and twice in se. LA.

Identification aids:


This description is written from: 

notes made after the observation and from memory.

Are you positive of your identification? If not, explain: 


Yes, 100% positive.


Justin Bosler   

Date and time: 

26 September 2008   

6:30 PM EDT