19-B-2017 Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

STATUS
Accepted
DATE VOTING COMPLETED
1ST ROUND
7-0
HOW MANY OBSERVED?
1
DATE SIGHTING OCCURRED
DATE REPORT PREPARED
REPORTER
Darren Clark
LOCALITY OF OBSERVATION
Just northeast of Camas NWR (Jefferson County). The bird was in a field across a gravel road from the Camas NWR boundary.
HABITAT WHERE THE BIRD WAS OBSERVED
Overgrown weedy field on wire fence. There were a few scattered trees and a couple of homes.
SIGHTING DURATION, CONDITIONS, and EQUIPMENT USED
I observed the bird for around ten minutes. I first identified it without any optics as it flew off of the fence about 8 feet away. I later used Swarovski 8.5x42 and a Canon 5d Mark IV with a 400 mm lens to see and photograph it. It was overcast and stormy. When I found the bird it wasn't raining, but about ten minutes later it started blowing, raining, and hailing, and the bird wasn't seen again.
DID YOU TAKE NOTES?
No, not at all
DID YOU CONSULT A FIELD GUIDE OR OTHER REFERENCE WORK?
No, not at all
DESCRIPTION OF THE BIRD(s)
The bird observed from the front looked to be about Western Kingbird size, but the longer tail, plain white chest and salmon-colored wing linings were evident. I believe the bird was an adult female. The bird had striking adult plumage, but the tail wasn't as long as it would be in a male (maybe about the same length as its body).
BEHAVIOR OF THE BIRD(s)
The bird was loosely associated with an Eastern and a couple of Western Kingbirds. At one point an Eastern Kingbird aggressively drove it from a perch. It spent most of its time perched on a fence, a tree branch, and a sprinkler line, but would occasionally hunt insects over the field.
HOW AND WHEN DID YOU POSITIVELY IDENTIFY THE BIRD, AND WHAT CLINCHED THE IDENTIFICATION FOR YOU?
As soon as the bird flew and I saw the long tail, gray body, and salmon colored wing linings, I knew this was a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher.
HOW DID YOU ELIMINATE SIMILAR SPECIES? WHAT WERE THEY?
There are no other birds that have both the structure and plumage of a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. Fork-tailed would be all black-and-white. Magpie would be black-and-white and would be quite a bit larger.
WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH THIS (AND SIMILAR) SPECIES?
I've seen one other Scissor-tailed Flycatcher in Idaho (last year). I've seen hundreds of these birds in Texas and Louisiana
DESCRIBE YOUR GENERAL BIRDING EXPERIENCE
I've been birding for about 25 years. I'm a fairly decent birder.
WERE PHOTO(S), VIDEO, AND/OR AUDIO OBTAINED FROM THIS SIGHTING?
Photo
SUPPORTING IMAGES

FIRST ROUND VOTING:

Cliff Weisse
Accept

Description and photos are conclusive.

Carl Lundblad
Accept

Beautiful diagnostic photos and good written details. Good timing for this species, no provenance issues.

Shirley Sturts
Accept

excellent photo confirms the identification

Jay Carlisle
Accept

Great photos and described well

Jon Isacoff
Accept

Accept. I’d write more but the photo and description are definitive.

Dave Trochlell
Accept

What an incredible find, and so nicely documented!

Doug Ward
Accept

Good description, but wish there were some better photos of this tough identification. Seriously, awesome bird!