A small American bird (Tyrannus tyrannus, or T.
Carolinensis), noted for its courage in attacking larger birds, even
hawks and eagles, especially when they approach its nest in the
breeding season. It is a typical tyrant flycatcher, taking various
insects upon the wing. It is dark ash above, and blackish on the head
and tail. The quills and wing coverts are whitish at the edges. It is
white beneath, with a white terminal band on the tail. The feathers on
the head of the adults show a bright orange basal spot when erected.
Called also bee bird, and bee martin. Several Southern and Western
species of Tyrannus are also called king birds.