Tag: OklahomaStateBird

Photography Challenge Day 192: The young scissor-tailed flycatcher

While the adult scissor-tailed flycatchers may have started their migrations back south—the younger generation is still present, at least for awhile.

Young scissor-tail flycatcher

I noticed this one sitting at the top of a tree, and probably wouldn’t have paid much attention, until it stretched and I saw it’s tail. It was then I realized that I’d probably been overlooking the younger generation of scissor-tailed flycatchers the past few weeks.

I think it thought it saw something to eat….

While the scissor-tailed flycatcher is common in Oklahoma (we’re in it’s breeding area, and it is the state bird), during migration they actually wander and therefore can almost be spotted anywhere throughout North America. They winter in the warmer regions of Central America and southern Mexico.

Since they feed predominately on insects, I don’t think that there is a good way of trying to lure them into the yard during the year—they seem to really like the open spaces around the lake, and we lack that around the house. So I will just have to keep an eye out for them again in the spring. I will be looking for the younger ones again on the weekends and I will see how long before they do decide to head south for the winter.

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Photography Challenge Day 78: Scissor-tailed Flycatchers in flight

So the winners of today’s photography drawing were two scissor-tailed flycatchers I spotted on my weekend walk around Boomer Lake. This is one place in town where you can almost be guaranteed to see at least one scissor-tailed flycatcher (depending on the time of day).

One of the scissor-tailed flycatchers sitting by the edge of the lake.

So there were two male scissor-tailed flycatchers trying to stake out some territory around one sheltered area (numerous small bushes) at the lake.

The second scissor-tailed flycatcher, sitting not that far from the first.

Both were sitting proudly on the branches of various bushes that were just starting to leaf out.

Then one decided that the other was too close……

But then they decided that the area may not be big enough for both of them, and they started fluttering around (I’m assuming to try to establish dominance in the area), and this was the best picture I could get of them both in flight–of course flying away from me at that point.

It will be interesting to try to keep count of how many I see on any given weekend (even though I know that I may or may not be counting the same bird several times) as we get into the summer months. I know that on Saturday I saw at least four, and then I saw two on Sunday–which means that there are at least four scissor-tailed flycatchers up at Boomer Lake right now.

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The state bird, the scissor-tailed flycatcher is back in town. Photography Challenge Day 56

The winner of today’s photography challenge is our state bird: the scissor-tailed flycatcher (Tyrannus forficatus). This beauty is back in the state through fall (yes, our state bird is a migratory bird that is only in state from about late March through early October).

Male scissor tailed flycatcher sitting in the tree…..

What are some cool facts about the scissor-tailed flycatcher?

Other names include: Texas bird of paradise and swallow tailed flycatcher.

They can be found in the south central US down to northern Mexico. They winter in southern Mexico & Central America.

Their diet consists of primarily insects (grasshoppers, crickets, and beetles), being supplemented with fruits in the winter.

The female builds the nest & incubates the eggs (usually 3-5), but both parents handle the feeding of the young. The young are able to leave the nest usually about two weeks after hatching.

The adults are monogamous for the current breeding season, but might not pair together again the following year.

They will also defend the area around their nest from any intruders including other birds such as: mockingbirds, mourning doves, hawks (red tailed & Swainson’s), grackles, sparrows (house & Lark), crows, blue jays, and loggerhead shrikes.

They can possibly lose their nests to severe weather during the summer (tornados and severe thunderstorms), as they build their nests in trees or shrubs (usually in a spot that is sheltered from the wind & shaded).

References:

https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/scissor-tailed-flycatcher

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Scissor-tailed_Flycatcher/lifehistory

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scissor-tailed_flycatcher

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