Thursday, November 5, 2009
Scissor-tailed Flycatchers are common breeding birds in the southern Great Plains from Texas to Kansas. There have even been a few scattered reports of these birds nesting in southern Nebraska. However, in the autumn when they should be heading to Central America, individual Scissor-tailed Flycatchers will sometimes turn the wrong way and wander far to the north of their summer homes. One such bird was visiting northwest Iowa last month, and was photographed by my friend Paul Roisen as pictured above. In October of 2008, a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher was seen for a few days near Brookings, South Dakota, one of only about two dozen records for the state. The only scissortails I have ever seen were down in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas during the summer months. Every fall I am constantly checking utility wires and fences up here in South Dakota, and eventually I will find one of those "wrong way" scissortails myself. Until then I can only admire Paul's picture and look forward to my next trip to Oklahoma.