Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

May 1, 2016 at 4:57 am (Bird photography, Birds - Oklahoma, National Wildlife Refuges (US Fish & Wildlife), Nature, Nature photography, Oklahoma, Photography, Wichita Mountains NWR, Wildlife) (, , )

Scissor-tailed flycatcher

Scissor-tailed flycatcher

The bird with the impossibly long tail is the Oklahoma state bird – the scissor-tailed flycatcher. Why does it need such a long, forked tail you ask? Beats me.

Scissortail flycatcher, Ft Sill OK (6)

Supposedly it helps their aerial swoops and mid-air turns while chasing bugs. But all the other members of the flycatcher have rather normal-sized tails. What’s with this bird? Beats me.

Scissor-tailed flycatcher OK (5)

But that tail really makes the bird stand out. It’s outstanding in its field. In any field.

Scissortail flycatcher, Ft Sill OK (8)

I was happy to find several that weren’t perched on fence wire. I prefer my birds to have a natural perch. Apparently scissor-tails like solitary trees in a field, or tall stalks of prairie grass.

Scissortail flycatcher, Wichita Mts OK (2)

They will use rocks, too. The one above was at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge that borders Fort Sill.

Scissor-tailed flycatcher OK (4)

It’s hard getting sharp photos of them on the wing. But I managed a few passable images.

Scissor-tailed flycatcher OK (3)

You’ll notice the orange at the wing joint and the salmon wash of the underwings and lower belly.

Scissor-tailed flycatcher OK (8)

They breed in Texas, Oklahoma, and nearby prairie-type states. In winter they vacation in southern Mexico and Central America.

Scissor-tailed flycatcher OK (1)

They nest in trees and aren’t averse to being around urban areas with large patches of bug-producing grass, such as golf courses.

Scissortail flycatcher, Ft Sill OK (2)

Read more about this striking bird at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website. 

Scissortail flycatcher, Ft Sill OK (7)

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1 Comment

  1. Carole DeAngeli said,

    Amazing captures of this beautiful bird.

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