We took a drive to Santa Paula in Ventura County to see this female Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (Tyrannus forticatus). It had taken up residence in a park in the center of town. I digiscoped her through a Kowa TSN-884 spotting scope with a TE-11WZ eyepiece using a Panasonic G6 camera.
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher Range
Scissor-tailed Flycatchers’ normal range is in the south central U.S. They are common in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and the western portions of Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana. In Southern California, Scissor-tailed Flycatchers usually show up in winter and leave in spring. Having one in summer is quite rare.
The reason this female is still around is quite obvious: she is tending a nest. What’s even more interesting is there is not a male Scissor-tailed Flycatcher around and a male Western Kingbird seems to be watching over the nest when mom is out feeding herself. It will be interesting to see whether she fledges some interesting hybrids. Recent reports from Santa Paula question whether there are truly eggs in the nest. Some observers report seeing her “adjusting eggs”, while others say she is spending most of her time eating for herself and not tending the nest. Eggs would have hatched by now and no young have been seen.