SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER


Tyrannus forficatus


Description:

Similar to other flycatchers, this bird is often found perching with an upright posture on a wire, fence or post. The Springtime courtship display of the male bird involves a "sky dance", which may even include a few backward summersaults! This bird mainly feeds on insects, which it captures in mid-air. Included on the menu are a few insect species that are harmful to agriculture.


Appearance:

Pale gray head and back. White underparts. Pinkish flanks. Black wings and extremely long, black, deeply forked tail with white outer feathers. Sexes similar. 13 to 14 inches in length.


Habitat:

Open country and ranches. Often seen perching on fences and posts.


Nesting:

5 cream colored eggs with brown spots and a 14-17 day incubation period. Fledging occurs in 14-16 days. The nest is a bulky cup made from sticks and lined with softer material.


Observed Locations:

  • Lake Murray, La Mesa
  • Mast Park, Santee





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