The Scissor-tailed Flycatcher is an unmistakable sight of the
southern Great Plains, with a tail that more than doubles it's overall body
length. They also display an unusual salmon-pink color under the wings
when in flight. Closely related to the Kingbirds, they are just as bold
and brash as their cousins, and will try to drive off creatures of any size that
dare to approach its nest. Scissor-tailed Flycatchers have been known to
stray far from their normal range, and have been spotted several times in South
Habitat: Found in semi-open habitats with
scattered trees, such as grassland with tree groves, farmland, near
windrows, and along roads.
Diet: Primarily feeds on insects and spiders, although they
will occasionally take small fruits and berries.
Behavior: Primarily feeds by observing from a
perch, flying out to catch insects in mid-air (flycatching), or by capturing
them on ground or vegetation.
Nesting: Non-breeder in South Dakota.
Song: A variety of calls
including a buzzy chattering and a sharp kik.
Migration: Summers in the southern Great Plains. A few winter in south Florida, but
most move to Central and South America.
Similar Species: Fork-tailed Flycatcher.
This tropical species hasn't been found in South Dakota, but it has been
known to wander widely, and has been seen in some of the surrounding states.
Conservation Status: Has experienced local declines in recent
Cornell Lab of Ornithology - Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
Photo Information: October 18th, 2008 - Near
Brookings, South Dakota - Terry Sohl
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