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).