This is a stocky, large-headed, pale gray flycatcher of the coastal habitats. Look for a dusky blackish patch through the eye, heavy bill, and whitish underparts. The tail is notched, without white.
Noisy, as well as belligerent, it frequently emits harsh notes as it sits on telephone wires or exposed branches ready to dart after flying insects. They feed on a variety of insects, including bees, wasps, beetles, and dragonflies. It also eats small lizards. At some season, berries and small fruits may be as much as one-fifth of its diet.
Like other kingbirds, this species is fearless, even chasing hawks and crows and attacking humans who come too close to its nests. The nest is a cup shape of twigs, grasses, rootlets lined with finer grass, usually loosely built, so that eggs may even be visible from below.
Widespread in the Caribbean, this big flycatcher enters our country, mainly in Florida. There, it is numerous in summer, chiefly along the coast, less common toward the north.
Length: 9 inches
Habitat: Coastal, in mangrove thickets, and in small groves of palms and oaks
Range: Coastal regions of South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, the West Indies, and smaller islands in the Caribbean. Winters from the Greater Antilles to Colombia, Venezuela, and the Guianas.