Monday, April 14, 2014

Fun Monday - My Favorite Bird

Many years ago, I lived in Oklahoma.  While I was there, I became an avid birder.  I LOVED birds and my back yard was on the migration routes, so I had opportunity to see a lot of them.

My favorite, by far, was the Oklahoma state bird - the Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher.  I love flycatchers in general...  they are dainty of feature and amazing to watch in the air - the Scissor-tail won my heart.  In flight, it looks like an angel.  So incredibly graceful.

Their looks, however, hide a fairly aggressive bird.  It defends its territory in much the same way as the more familiar blue jay, especially during nesting season.  The rest of the time, it's a pretty friendly bird.  They hang out on fences and posts and eat all manner of bugs (which is always a plus in my book!).

It's also featured on the back of the Oklahoma commemorative quarter - which shows just how highly valued this symbol of the state really is!

Scissor-tailed flycatchers are probably the thing I miss most about living in Oklahoma.

Official description:
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
tyrannus forficatus 
Description: 14" of which more than half is a very long and deeply-forked black and white tail, adult has bright salmon-pink sides and belly, head, upper-back and breast pale grayish whiteHabitat: Open and semi-open country, roadsides, chaparral, ranches. Often seen perched on utility wires or fences. 
Nesting: 5 creamy brown-spotted eggs in a bulky stick nest lined with soft materials placed in a solitary, isolated treeRange: breeds from eastern Colorado and Nebraska south to Texas and Louisiana, winters mostly south of border and southern Florida
Voice: a harsh kee-kee-kee-kee!, also chattering notes like that of Western KingbirdDiet: Almost entirely insects; few berries.
Notes: Spirited defender of territory against crows, hawks, etc. Gregarious in non-breeding season, Male performs acrobatic "sky dance" during courtship which even includes a few reverse summersaults in mid-air!
When present in Oklahoma: statewide during summer, south, southeast in winter months


Jan said...

I love birds, too. I'm not a birder, I just enjoy those I encounter.

Pamela said...

I want to see one in person.
Maybe I'll have a big year and travel like some birders do

Jill said...

we have resident owls that prowl during the day, and a pair of red tailed hawks that scream.. and a pair of crows that frequents when we mow grass, and lots of other just normal 'birds'..but a lot of them are hard to capture on film...