Documentation of Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

Observer Information

Reporter:  Polly Neldner  PO Box 358,   La Veta, CO  81055
Other Observers:  Paul Neldner

Species, Date, Time and Location Information

Species:  Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
First Date/Time:  5/30/2015 4:30:00 PM
Last Date/Time:  5/30/2015 6:49:00 PM
Duration (total time in view):  12 minutes
County:  Huerfano
Specific Location:  La Veta
Number:  1
Age:  Unknown
Sex:  Female
Plumage:  Other/Unknown


Open field/pasture land

Viewing Conditions

Optics:  Swarovski 8X42 Binoculars and Spotting Scope
Distance:  As close as 50 ft. and as far away as 300 ft.
Light:  Good, light overcast, fairly bright

Description of the Bird

Bird was first seen on barbed wire fence. Flew off fence down to cattle pasture, where it was observed with prey. Tyrannus flycatcher with white head, slight dark mask, dark bill, with salmon pink wash on flanks and extremely long, forked tail. Bird showed pink underwing coverts in flight, white egdes to tails showed best in flight.Tail was  easily longer than the body of the bird, held stiffly. Note: tail was not long enough for male, therefore we think this was female.

Similar Species Discussion

We close by Western and Eastern Kingbirds. Easily eliminate due to coloration and long forked tail. Black-billed Magpies were also close by and easily eliminated due to coloration and size of bird.

Resources Used

Sibley's Guide to Birds, Stokes Field Guide and Peterson's. As we have have seen Scissor-tailed Flycatchers in Texas and Oklahoma we knew the bird when we saw it.

Previous Experience

We see Western, Cassin's and Eastern Kingbirds every year. We have seen Scissor-tailed Flycatchers in Texas and Oklahoma. We have also seen Fork-tailed Flycatchers which were elminiated due to coloration. Fork-tailed would have had a very dark head and darker tail. Tail would have been even longer in Fork-tailed


Notes made DURING observation

Materials Available

Photographer: Polly Wren Neldner

Photos |


Date Documentation Submitted

5/30/2015 10:54:00 PM
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Location Map

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