Phoebes, which are members of the Tyrant Flycatcher family, can be very fun to watch while bird watching in Houston, Texas. Most of them can be found in open areas, perched and waiting to swoop down on insects. Look them wagging their tails, a shared behavior of all Phoebes which consists of slowly lowering and raising their tails while perched. Kiskadees, Pee-wees and Kingbirds are also members of the Tyrant Flycatcher family, and are also amusing and attractive birds to look for while bird watching in Houston, Texas. For tips on finding and identifying these birds in Houston, Texas, see below.
Couch’s Kingbird. This large, brightly colored flycatcher is very common in the Rio Grande Valley, and occasionally makes its way to Houston, Texas. It has a green back, yellow underparts, a gray head and a brown tail. Look for this medium sized songbird while bird watching in the forests of Houston, Texas, usually beside a source of water.
Eastern Phoebe. Look for this flycatcher in the forests of Houston, Texas, usually near a source of water. They are very common from November through March. Recognize this little bird while bird watching from its soft gray coloring, with a darker crown, face and tail that is sometimes almost black. They have white bellies with gray markings on either side.
Eastern Wood-Pewee. This flycatcher is very common in Houston, Texas in the summer. Look for it in forests, or high in the branches of shade trees in the city. Distinguish it from other flycatchers by its lack of eyering. You can also find the Eastern Wood-peewee when bird watching in the spring and fall, and it does breed here in Houston, Texas.
Black Phoebe. This flycatcher is not as common in Houston, Texas as some of its relatives, but can still be found while bird watching in forests close to water resources. It is also attracted to backyards with fountains, ponds, or bird baths. They are very dark gray in color, almost black, and have white bellies and white under their tails.
Great Kiskadee. It is easy to recognize this flycatcher while bird watching from its rare combination of colors. They prefer the forests of Houston, Texas, and can be found near rivers, ponds and streams. Look for its white head with a black cap and yellow crown, along with a distinctive black eyestripe. It also has a yellow breast, and brown wings and a brown tail. Look for their black bills and black feet while bird watching in Houston, Texas.
Western Kingbird. Look for this flycatcher perched on telephone wires in rural, open areas of Houston, Texas, looking for insects. You’ll recognize it while bird watching from its gray throat and chest against a yellow belly. These flycatchers also have black tails outlined in white.
Eastern Kingbird. These flycatchers are common in the rural parts of Houston, Texas but rarely seen in the city. You may see these aggressive birds chasing off much larger species during breeding season (crows, blue jays and even hawks!) Identify them while bird watching in Houston, Texas from the broad white band on the end of their tails. This flycatcher has a dark head and crown, with red feathers in their crowns that are usually hard to see. Also look for their white throats and bellies while bird watching.