Two elegant birds with forked tails

I haven’t been out birding or butterflying much lately, but two birds in Albuquerque’s South Valley got me out of the apartment. Two striking birds, a Swallow-tailed Kite Scissor-tailed Flycatcher were found near the Rio Bravo bridge southwest of the airport, sorry sunport. I was lucky to find both of them, even though the flycatcher had moved from its original location.

Swallow-tailed Kite:

Swallow-tailed Kite. Photo taken in Florida by Gregory "Greg" Smith. From Flickr, used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher:

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. Photo taken in Texas by TexasEagle. From Flickr, used under CC BY-NC 2.0

These are two of the most elegant birds in the U.S. I found the kite after driving around a neighborhood a few times. A small, pointed-winged raptor flew quickly out of sight but I soon saw a white-headed raptor with black in the wings. Time to pull to the side of the road! I only got to watch it circle for a minute or so.

Swallow-tailed Kite. Photo by Kim Jones. From Flickr, used under CC BY-ND 2.0

The flycatcher had been found by some birders looking for the kite. No birds were at the original location, across from a hardware store, so I drove south along 2nd Street to check fences and wires along the farm fields (a favorite spot for Tyrannus flycatchers). My hunch paid off in less than a minute when I saw a very light, long tailed bird on barbed wire in front of the local wastewater treatment facility. While safely pulled off the busy street, I got to see that hard to see bright pink/salmon color under the wings as it preened. This individual had much pinker underparts than either of the two photos here; it’s a shame that my camera and binoculars didn’t cooperate to take a digibinned picture.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. Photo taken in Texas by TexasEagle. From Flickr, used under CC BY-NC 2.0

 

 

 

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One Response to Two elegant birds with forked tails

  1. Rebecca Gracey says:

    Congratulations on your 300th bird for New Mexico, obtained in the short time that you’ve lived in the state. It was a good bird to see.

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