Scissortail Sally Blanchard


by Sally Blanchard 
Rare Hardwood Inlay Bird Sculpture of Scissortail by Sally Blanchard

I lived in Wichita, KS for several years and it was an incredible birdwatching area. It was on the Central Flyway and we got some birds from the east and some from the west. One of my very favorite birds I saw there were Scissor-tailed Flycatchers. The first time I saw one I nearly drove into a ditch. One experience happened when I found a nest in a small wild area not far from where I lived and watched the babies fledge. The last one didn't want to leave the nest and was finally unceremoniously pushed into flight. The young bird practically landed on my head. I was hiding in the grass getting so many irritating chigger bites all over my body waiting for the last one to fledge. When his parent saw that the youngster was next to me, the flew over to attack me to protect the chick. I crawled out of the open area wishing that I had a good camera and not so many chigger bites.

When I moved back to California, I knew I wouldn't see another one of these favorite birds of mine and knew I would miss the thrill I got from seeing them. After all, their range is pretty much Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas in the United States. I did see two in Costa Rica which was a pleasant surprise for me.

After I was in the SF Bay Area for a short time, a friend came to visit and we drove up to Point Reyes to see this amazing coastal wild place and have a picnic. She had never seen the Pacific Ocean so it was a special treat for her. We were driving along the farm area to get to the coast, and I saw something that totally shocked me – a totally out-of-range Scissortail was casually sitting on a fence. As we got closer he flew up in the air, spread his long, beautiful and landed a few yards on the same fence. This continued for some time as we drove down the road. I was elated but my friend said she saw them a lot near Wichita. My answer, “Toto, I've a feeling we aren't in Kansas anymore!!”




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