December Delight!…Fork-tailed Flycatcher (#687)

The Fork-tailed Flycatcher is supposed to be in Argentina right now. Southern Mexico is the NORTHERN edge of its “normal” range. However, once in awhile this spectacular flyer…its forked tail is almost a foot long..wanders off course – 3,000 miles! Ornithologists theorize that some individuals’ internal clocks are spun around 180 degrees and thus migrate north, as opposed to south.

Considered a “code 3” (i.e. a couple sightings per year in North America) by the American Birding Association, the rare bird alert reported an adult male frequenting the Connecticut River’s Hamlyme ferry slip. Apparently content on devouring plentiful berries and lingering insects, it had been hanging around all week. This was Connecticut’s second forky in three years.

I had planned on chasing the code 5 (I have never seen a code 5 rarity!) Amazon Kingfisher in Harlingen, Texas this weekend. But a lack of reliable sightings this week combined with ridiculously cold and wet weather forecast for southern Texas, produced a brief moment of sanity….I post-poned Texas and headed to Connecticut.

Fork-tailed Flycatcher (Lyme, Ct)

Fork-tailed Flycatcher (Lyme, Ct)

Fork-tailed Flycatcher (Lyme, Ct)

Fork-tailed Flycatcher (Lyme, Ct)

About George C. Wood

A birder since age ten, but not necessarily an avid "lister", I am closing in on 700 (*800!) species seen in North America.....hoping to capture each sighting with my camera.
This entry was posted in Quest for 700 (*800!). Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to December Delight!…Fork-tailed Flycatcher (#687)

  1. Nina Weisbord says:

    Perhaps the “brief moment of sanity” could reveal itself on a more regular basis? Love you

  2. Deborah Glass says:

    Good decision George. Sometimes the riches are in your backyard (so to speak)!

  3. Dorothy B Weisbord says:

    Wonderful bird….great photo….go George

  4. burkebiz says:

    Nicely done. Awesome tail, unmistakable! Did you guys hire a DD?

    Sent from my iPhone KJB


  5. ANNE WOOD says:

    What a beautiful tail!!!!!!!

  6. Jeffrey Dingle says:

    Those your photos?

    I’m assuming it’s different from the Scissor Tailed Flycatcher. I’ve only seen the Scissor Tailed once, maybe twice. Thinking you were there too. Was it in the Keys?


  7. Martin, Lisa says:

    So glad you got it!!!! What a beauty! Love the tail

    On Sun, Dec 8, 2013 at 9:14 AM, birdtalesblog

  8. Jim Buck says:

    Impressive, as was your decision-making concerning travel this weekend. (To that end, I hope you were back in 19010 in time to snuggle up and watch the “other” birds yesterday. NOT a good day to be out traveling around, Woody!)

  9. Tom Mason says:

    You mentioned you needed Fork Tailed when I saw you at Merion this year. So glad you got it and didn’t take on the bad weather in TX.

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