This page illustrates juvenile Couch's Kingbirdo Tyrannus couchii. Juveniles in August and September look rather different to adults, yet most field guides do not describe or illustrate the differences. NOTE: From looking at the extensive photo collection on eBird and after reading Howell and Webb's Mexico guide and Pyle's banding guide, the plumage differences between juvenile and adult Couch's Kingbird is paralleled in Tropical Kingbird.
Compared to adults, juvenlies:
- are paler-headed above the facial mask, often with an even paler brow over the eye
- are less intensely green above
are a paler yellow below and often have irregular, slightly paler blotches scattered on the underparts
- have more-contrasting pale, creamy-white fringes on the wing coverts and tertials
- have rich cinnamon (almost rusty) fringes on the inner 3 or 4 retrices, the uppertail coverts, and (but but less prominent) on some outer
greater and median coverts and the alula
This juvenile was in the tree canopy above our balcony in NW San Antonio, Texas, on September 04, 2020.
This juvenile was in Corpus Christi, Texas on August3 1, 2014:
This Tyrannus was in the same tree canopy over our balcony in San Antonio on September 04, 2020 at the same time as the juv. Couch's Kingbird at the top of this page.The reduced yellow on the underparts plus the tail shape, pattern and color suggest it is a hybrid between Couch's Kingbird and Scissor-tailed Flycatcher - both species breed in similar habitats in and around San Antonio, and can be found nesting very close to each other:
The following two photos are by Sheridan Coffey: