Unexpected Visitor to Johns Island, SC

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

On Sunday, January 19, 2020, I received a text from my South Carolina birding friend Aija who posted the presence of a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher nearby. Eileen and I quickly jumped into the car and dashed off to the location. Six other local birders had already arrived and they pointed us in the right direction. There sat a beautiful adult male bird resplendent in its rosy colors, and banner like tail.

Scissor-tailed flycatchers spend the summer months in the southern plains—primarily Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. The vast majority spend the winter on the Pacific Coast of Central America—primarily southern Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Costa Rica. Every year, a few spend the winter in Florida and once in a while they will pop up in South Carolina. We were fortunate enough to be in the right spot at the right time.

-Submitted by Bob Mercer, SIB Member and Retired Director/Naturalist, Silver Lake Nature Center, Bristol, PA

(Image credit: Bob Mercer)