[Western Kingbird x Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (hybrid)]

Tyrannus verticalis x  forficatus

Status: No accepted records.

Comments: There are three instances of pairings between Western Flycatcher and Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, including one where young may have been produced, but not identified. A female Western Flycatcher mated with a male Scissor-tailed Flycatcher in Lincoln, Lancaster Co in 1921, but the nest was abandoned and taken over by House Sparrows (Swenk and Dawson 1921). A male Western Flycatcher that had been observed in the summers of 1926 and 1927 in Logan Co mated with a female Scissor-tailed Flycatcher one of the years (Glandon and Glandon 1935). In Keith Co in 1994 adults of each species were tending a nest together; the nest was destroyed by grackles before the plumages of the young could be determined (Brown et al 1996).

A cautionary note (Wayne Mollhoff, personal communication) to observers is to follow up on such apparent pairings; two separate adult Scissor-tailed Flycatchers were photographed early in the 2017 nesting season at McCook, Red Willow Co but later observations found only a female and on 28 Jun the abandoned nest with four eggs that were infertile. There were 3-4 pairs of Western Kingbirds in the immediate area (Wayne Mollhoff, personal communication).

Additional examples of hybridization with Eastern Kingbird and Scissor-tailed Flycatcher elsewhere are given in Gamble and Bergin (2020).

Literature Cited

Brown, C.R., M.B. Brown, P.A. Johnsgard, J. Kren, and W.C. Scharf. 1996. Birds of the Cedar Point Biological Station area, Keith and Garden Counties, Nebraska: Seasonal occurrence and breeding data. Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences 23: 91-108.

Gamble, L.R. and T.M. Bergin. 2020. Western Kingbird (Tyrannus verticalis), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (A. F. Poole, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.weskin.01.

Glandon, E.W., and R. Glandon. 1935. Further additions to the list of Logan County birds. NBR 3: 29-31.

Swenk, M.H., and R.W. Dawson. 1921. Notes on the distribution and migration of Nebraska birds I. Tyrant Flycatchers (Tyrannidae). Wilson Bulletin 33: 132-141.

Recommended Citation

Silcock, W.R., and J.G. Jorgensen.  2021.  Western Kingbird x Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (hybrid) (Tyrannus verticalis x  forficatus). In Birds of Nebraska — Online. www.BirdsofNebraska.org

Updated 26 February 2021