COMMON NAME — Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
SCIENTIFIC NAME — Tyrannus forficatus
FAMILY — Tyrannidae
ORDER — Passeriformes
A note about the scientific name for this bird…
Tyrannus — means tyrant-like. Birds of this genus aggressively defend their territory, even against larger birds like crows and hawks.
Forficatus — derives from the Latin word for scissors.
I find this bird to be especially pretty because of the orange, my favorite color. A dark orange spot on the shoulder, light orange on the side. It contrasts nicely with the soft gray head and dark wings.
Back view displaying the entire length of the very long tail.
What an adorable bird! This was taken at dawn. They usually gather on these high electric lines at dawn and dusk, where they become especially active, with much bubbly chirping.
When I see them perched high, I notice they don’t sit still much. There is much of this activity happening.
During the hunt, you might see a bit of this kind of action. Although the photo was taken in poor light, you can actually see the insect near the tip of the bird’s beak, about to snatched. The shape of this bird’s tail allows them to engage in some impressive acrobatics.
Looking closely you can see the bug in this bird’s mouth.
An opportunity to see the black wing spread and the exposure of the orange back, along with the black and white tail feathers.
Although I’m not fond of posting blurry photos, this shot exposes the coloring underneath the wings. The dark orange spot near the shoulder and the light orange across the wing and down the flank.
Book – Birds of Texas by Stan Tekiela
Website – allaboutbirds.org
A few details from Wikipedia’s Scissor-tailed Flycatcher page:
Range – This species breeds and spends its summers in the south central states, including all of Texas and Oklahoma, most of Kansas, and part of their adjoining states: Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana. They winter mostly in Central America.
Habitat – They build a cup nest in isolated trees or shrubs, sometimes using artificial sites such as telephone poles near towns.
Diet – They eat insects during the summer and incorporate some fruit into their diet during winter.
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