What is the Oklahoma State Bird?
The scissor-tailed flycatcher is the state bird of Oklahoma. Oklahoma titled the Scissor-tailed flycatcher as the official state bird in 1951. This bird has an elegant grey-colored head, salmon-pink flanks, and an absurdly long tail. The genus part of its scientific name “muscivora” can be translated as flying to devour and the species part “forficate” means scissors.
The scissor-like tail of the scissor-tailed flycatcher is hard to miss as these birds generally perch in the open. The long tails come in handy while catching insects in midair. The scissor-tailed flycatchers are found to build their nests in isolated trees and shrubs. They can also make nests in artificial sites like telephone poles in the town area.
The male and female travel together in search of a nesting place. Both male and female feed their young and like any other kingbird, the scissor-tailed flycatchers are found to be very aggressive while defending their nest. In late summer and early fall, these magnificent birds gather in large flocks in order to migrate to Mexico and Central America.
Oklahoma’s State Bird, The Scissor-tailed Flycatcher arranges large pre wandering roosts in late summer, with up to 1,000 birds in one herd. They sometimes settle near towns, possibly taking benefit from the large trees as settling zones. The Scissor-tailed Flycatcher uses many human products in its nests, such as string, cloth, paper, carpet fuzz, and cigarette filters. One experiment of nests in the city areas in Texas found that non-natural resources accounted for 30% of a load of nests.
An associate of the kingbird speciesTyrannus, Scissor-tailed Flycatchers look like other kingbirds in behavior, voice, and morphology. Only one other Tyrannus species—the Fork-tailed Flycatcher—has an intensely long tail. Scissor-tailed Flycatchers are inclined to wander extensively on their way to and from the wintering lands, a custom they share with Fork-tailed Flycatchers and Humid Kingbirds.
State Bird of Oklahoma Facts
- Common name: Scissor-tailed flycatcher
- Scientific name: Muscivoraforficata
- Habitat: Open habitats in the Southern Great Plains and south Texas around scattered trees and utility lines
- Diet: Mostly insects (grasshoppers, beetles, and crickets). Occasionally eats fruits.
- Song and Calls: a series of sharp notes that might sound like a puppy playing with a squeaky toy.
- Weight: 36-56 g
- Length: 22-37 cm
- Wingspan: 15 cm
- Average lifespan: 10-15 years
- Incubation period: 13-23 days
Description of Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
Throughout spring and fall, they can show up almost anywhere in North America, as far north as British Columbia and Nova Scotia. Scissor-tailed Flycatchers consume insects, mainly grasshoppers, crickets, and beetles. They infrequently eat fruit, mainly on their wintering grounds. They typically feed between ground level and 30 feet off the ground, grabbing insects from the air or garnering them from vegetation.
Between insect-catching flights, they reappear to a perch on a fence, wire, or tree division. Often a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, the state bird of Oklahomawillgulp a small prey item for the duration of the flight back to its perch, but it strokes large items against the perch before taking them.
When they discover a probable nest site in a remote tree or shrub, they both step around and test out diverse spots by pressing themselves against the twigs. They select an open site that’s protected from the predominant wind and often dappled by some greenery.
The law designating the scissor-tailed flycatcher as the official Oklahoma state bird is Section 25.98 of the Oklahoma Statutes, Title 25 (Definitions and General Provisions) Chapter 3 (State Emblems and Honorary Positions) Section 25-98.