Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (Tyrannus forficatus)

Picture of Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (Tyrannus forficatus)

Photo ©TPWD

The Scissor-tailed Flycatcher is 14 inches long (36 cm), of which more than half is a very long and deeply forked black and white tail. The adult has bright salmon-pink sides and belly with a head, upper back, and breast that is pale grayish white. Young birds are similar, but have a shorter tail and lack bright pink on sides and belly.
Life History
These striking flycatchers attract the attention of the most casual passerby. They are especially numerous in southern Texas, and may be seen on fence posts and wires along the roadside. They are noisy and aggressive, sometimes chasing birds much larger. In the spring, their performance with their long scissor-like tail, is part of the courtship performance.

The nesting habits for the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher include a bulky stick nest lined with soft fibrous material in an isolated tree where five creamy, brown-spotted eggs are layed.

These birds capture their food on the wing and their diet includes many insects harmful to agriculture.
The Scissor-tailed Flycatcher may be seen in the open country along roadsides perched on fence posts and utility wires. Also they can be found on ranches with scattered trees and bushes.
These birds breed from eastern Colorado and Nebraska south to Texas and western Louisiana. They winter south of the border; also a few fly to southern Florida.