Sunday, June 26, 2016

Scissor Tailed Flycatcher

Had a chance yesterday to go looking for the Scissor Tailed Flycatcher that's been seen along Moson Road in Sierra Vista, Arizona.

The STF is summer visitor to semi-open country ranches and farmlands with scattered trees in Texas and Oklahoma, with rare sightings elsewhere. And such is the case with this one here in Arizona. It is often seen resting on roadside fences and wires.  In fact, when I first spotted him he was sitting on a barbed wire fence along with three Western Kingbirds. 

As such it was hard to distinguish it from them at first. Only until it flew away showing off its salmon color under its wings and the long tail streamers flaring wide behind it was I sure of its identity. 

It feeds most on insects including grasshoppers, beetles, wasps, bees, bugs, flies, caterpillars, and moths. It typically perches in trees, fence posts, or shrubs striking out to capture prey that flies by. It sometimes will hover near the ground and pick up insects. 

Here are several photos showing the different perches it used yesterday:

Scissor Tailed Flycatcher on Fence with Western Kingbirds

Scissor Tailed Flycatcher on Fence Post

Scissor Tailed Flycatcher on Shrub near the Ground

Scissor Tailed Flycatcher in Cypress Tree

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