Bristly feathers around the beak protect a flycatcher’s eyes from debris (and gnats) as the bird zips through the air.
A long, wide beak increases the chance of catching an insect when the beak snaps shut.
The namesake, forked tail can be nearly twice as long as the rest of the bird’s body.
Scissor-tails fiercely defend their nests by dive-bombing and pecking at intruders — even bigger animals like hawks, raccoons, and humans.
Using its long tail like an airplane’s rudder allows a flycatcher to swoop and swerve like a feathered fighter jet.
To subdue large prey, like grasshoppers, a scissor-tail returns to its perch and pounds the prey to a pulp against a branch or fence post.
Also In This Issue
This Issue's Staff
Photographer – Noppadol Paothong
Photographer – David Stonner
Designer – Marci Porter
Designer – Les Fortenberry
Art Director – Cliff White
Editor – Matt Seek
Subscriptions – Laura Scheuler
Magazine Manager – Stephanie Thurber