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of the pages in this section include material that has not yet been
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The Couch’s Kingbird ranges from southern Texas, through
western Mexico and the Yucatan to reach the southern extent
of its range in northern Guatemala. According to Howell and
Webb, the range extends almost to the Honduran border. Currently,
there are no records for Honduras, but it must be one to look
(or listen) out for. This species is almost identical to Tropical
Kingbird Tyrannus melancholicus and until relatively recently
they were considered to be the same species. There are a few
minor anatomical differences (such as a slightly less forked
tail and smaller bill in Couch’s), but they are so subtle
that you have to hear them call to make an identification. Fortunately,
the calls are very different and anyone who has been in the
region for any length of time will have had the chance to become
familiar with distinctive trill of the Tropical Kingbird for
comparison. My only sightings of this species have been at Tikal.
Beavers is inconsistent in describing their status in the region,
calling them uncommon in the checklist, but describing them
as fairly common later on. I have found them easy to find there,
which, considering the identification difficulties, makes me
think that they must be fairly common. Land does not include
this species, as they had not been separated from Tropical Kingbird
by the time he wrote his guide (1970). During my first visit
to Tikal (in August 2000), a pair was nesting in one of trees
in the open area between the car park and the hotels.