Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher

Tyrannus forficatus

In 2003 I found an immature, out of place Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher on the central California coast at Piedras Blancas beach while photographing newborn Northern Elephant Seals. As a rarity in California, word got out quickly and folks came from far and wide to see this bird. I donated an image to Cal Poly as a contribution for the scientific record. Seventeen years later, in 2020, I was able to meet these birds in the native range in south Texas.

After wintering in southern Mexico and Central America, these birds fly north to breed each spring, where their range includes all of Texas, east to the Mississippi River and north through Kansas. Basically, the south midwestern USA is its summer home.

Scissor-Tailed Flycatchers are monotypic, meaning there are no recognised subspecies.

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