by Donna Lewis
I am sure all of you have noticed the numerous little mini flocks of scissor-tails lately around the county. They are a bird even amateurs can identify.
We drive to our destination and everyone in the truck says look, look, a scissor-tail!
So, why do these birds have this tail? This bird is a flycatcher, so it needs to be agile and able to turn quickly on a dime and in mid-air. To catch an insect you have to be fast.
Its tail splits in two to redirect its flight. Pretty handy.
Scissor-tailed flycatchers (Tyrannus forficatus) are beautiful birds with a pearly gray head and chest, and dark wings and tail. They can be found all over Texas and Oklahoma.
During the winter they will migrate south to Mexico and even South America. That is what they are doing now. Otherwise you would not see them in a flock. They like to be solitary, except at night when they may roost together as a community. A sleepover with your friends.
In some places they are known as the Texas bird of paradise.
Females (who don’t have as long of a tail as the males do) lay three to six eggs that are white or cream colored with some dark red on them. Lovely to see.
Keep your eyes up and you will see them now.
All photos are some rights reserved (CC BY-NC) and authorized for nonprofit use and were selected by Sue Ann Kendall to go with Donna’s narrative.
1 thought on “Scissor-tail Beauty”
So appreciate learning about swallowtails and why their tail is scissored!
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