Thursday, May 4, 2017

Kingbird and the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

I was busy gardening and fussing with my newly planted Fuyu Persimmon when I got a text from Eve alerting me that the rare Scissor-tailed Flycatcher who nested here last summer was back at Twin Trails Park. Delighted to hear the news, I rushed through my chores and headed south on the freeway listening to the voice of Google maps on my phone telling me how to get to Twin Trails Park.

As I walked into the park by the tennis court, I saw a birder by the playground. She was there because of the eBird rare bird alert from Eve too. Thanks to Barbara for pointing out where she observed the Scissor-tail last. We soon spotted it high in the eucalyptus tree and soon she flew down to the nearby California sycamore. Here are some shots of the beautiful Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. Also some shots of a Western Kingbird that appeared nearby. The Scissor-tail continually chased and called after the Kingbird and the Kingbird was also calling back. Here are some photos of the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher pursuing the Western Kingbird.  My first shot is of the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Tyrannus forficatus  which measures 10 inches long with a wingspan of 15 inches.  It is the state bird of Oklahoma.
 Western Kingbird,  Tyrannus verticalis  measures 8.75 inches long with a wingspan of 15.5 inches.
 Even from a distance, you can easily recognize the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher.

There are other birds for birders to spot, too. Here, a Yellow Warbler makes an appearance in same tree as the Western Kingbird was.  Even from this limited view, you can ID a Yellow Warbler.  They're the only warbler in North America with yellow running all the way to the tip of the tail.

Western Kingbird.  Notice the thin white outer tail stripes which distinguish it from our other common kingbird the Cassin's Kingbird.
Western Kingbird hunting for prey.

Amazingly, last year our rare flycatcher mated with a Western Kingbird to produce at least two fledglings! And it looks as if the couple is back to try again.  Here's the link to last year's blog post showing the mom and fledglings:  Search for Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, August 2016

 Lots of calling.

 The kingbird was always near.

The Scissor-tail was constantly on the move chasing after the Western Kingbird. There were many Cassin's Kingbirds around but the lady Scissor-tailed Flycatcher only had eyes for this Western Kingbird.

Have a beautiful weekend  everyone! 

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