The Loggerhead Kingbird

Down in the Dry Tortugas you will be amazed at the amount of wildlife that make their home on and around these islands. With a name that comes from an abundance of turtles on the islands (though hunting has depleted that number dramatically), since the islands' discovery back in the 16th centuries, the islands have been known as a great habitat for animals (though not so much of a great habitat for humans). Out in the Dry Tortugas you will see a huge number and a great variety of birds.

For this focus, we will look at the curious, fly-eating Loggerhead Kingbird. The Loggerhead Kingbird are part of the Tyrannidae family (also known as tyrant flycatchers). They are found all over North and South America, though they are more concentrated in tropical areas of these continents. The tyrant flycatchers are the largest family of birds on earth today and they include a total of 400 species. Many species of Tyrannidae including the Loggerhead Kingbird are considered of "least concern" in conservation status, which is the level just up from "threatened," meaning they are still somewhat at risk of endangered status but are on the level that is of least concern.

The Loggerhead Kingheads on Dry Tortugas were the first of their kind spotted in the entire United States. In fact, their second sighting ever was made in March of 2008. Like the other flycatchers, the Loggerhead Kingbird have whiskers similar to that of cats and dogs. In reality, these whiskers are not hairs like on mammals but are specialized feathers. To find the Loggerhead Kinghead, you need to look for a small bird with a black head and a square-like profile when viewed from behind. They are mainly black, dark grey, and white: their backs are usually black and most of their underparts are white. Their tail is square with a white band.