There are a lot of interesting birds in my neck of the woods, I live in NE Texas. Today I saw one that had a long split tail. The tail was so long it looked like it interfered with his/her ability to fly very far. I didn’t get a good look at the color, I was looking into the sun. So, that’s all I have, a bird about the size of a small blackbird, unknown coloring, but with a very long split tail. Any ideas?
could it have been a roadrunner?
Almost certainly a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
Yep, that’s it. They sure have trouble flying very far with all that baggage.
I would recommend the identification guidebook “Birds of Texas” by
Fred J. Alsop III published by DK Publishing. It makes identification a snap, even by a non birder.
It devotes a page to each bird. It shows a color picture of an adult with obvious identifying features pointed out, a smaller picture of a juvenile bird, pictures of birds that it is often mistaken for, a map of where the birds are usually found, a drawing of it’s usual flight pattern, what kinda of habitat you would usually see one, a silhouette drawing of the bird that shows the size in relation to the actual book for scale, as well as a bunch of info to help you id the bird.
Actually, the long tail streamers make them very maneuverable for catching insects in flight. They are migratory, and some make it as far south as Panama, tail streamers and all.
Cool. I have a book called “Birds of Texas” by Stan Tekiela that sounds similar to the book you mentioned. My book didn’t have the “split-tail” though.
Here’s an excellent bird site someone posted the other day: