Scissor-tailed Flycatcher: Medium-sized flycatcher with pale gray upperparts and head, white underparts and throat, salmon-pink sides and flanks, and dark brown wings with white edges. Tail is long and scissor-like, black above with white outer edges and white below with black inner edges. Male's tail is longer than female's. Juvenile is paler overall with yellow or pink wash on underparts and shorter tail.
Range and Habitat
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher: Breeds from eastern Colorado and Nebraska south to Texas and western Louisiana. Spends winters south of U.S.-Mexico border; a few in southern Florida. Preferred habitats include open country along roadsides and on ranches with scattered trees and bushes; often seen on fence posts and utility wires.
Breeding and Nesting
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher: Three to six white eggs with red, brown, olive, and gray blotches are laid in a nest made of twigs, lined with rootlets, grass, weeds, and hair, and built from 7 to 40 feet above the ground in a tree, shrub, utility pole, post, building, or other man-made structure. Incubation ranges from 14 to 17 days and is carried out by the female.
Foraging and Feeding
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher: Eats insects, especially grasshoppers and crickets. Perches on branch, utility wire, or fence, flying down to capture prey on the ground.
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher: Song is a harsh sharp "bik" or "kew." Call is a dry, buzzing chattering "ka-quee-ka-quee" or repeated "ka-lup."
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher: Fork-tailed Flycatcher has a black head and white sides and flanks, it is a casual to accidental vagrant. Western Kingbird is similar to the short-tailed juvenile but has yellow underparts, olive-green tinted back, and a squared tail.