Scissor Tail Bird
Scissor tail fly-catcher
Description: 14" 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 white. Immature scissor-tails have short tails and resemble western kingbirds; however, their underparts are pinkish rather than yellow.
Habitat: Open and semi-open country, roadsides, chaparral, ranches. Often seen perched on utility wires or fences.
Nesting: Produces 5 creamy brown-spotted eggs in a bulky stick nest lined with soft materials placed in a solitary, isolated tree.
Range: breeds from eastern <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Colorado and Nebraska south to Texas and Louisiana, winters mostly south of border and southern Florida<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
Diet: Almost entirely insects; few berries. Feeds on insects, making it a valuable bird when it comes to controlling insect pests. Insects consumed include moths, butterflies, grasshoppers, locusts, beetles, and cotton worms.
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!Local Lore: When the Scissor Tails returns, it is a sign to plant tomatoes.