Oklahoma State Bird

What Is the State Bird of the State of Oklahoma?

The state bird of Oklahoma is the scissor-tailed flycatcher. This bird has remained the state bird of the state of Oklahoma for more than 70 years at this point. The state of Oklahoma officially designated the scissor-tailed flycatcher as the state bird in 1951. The state of Oklahoma did so via Joint House Resolution Number 21 in 1951.

There are several other names for the scissor-tailed flycatcher, too. It is also known as the Texas bird-of-paradise. One more name for the scissor-tailed flycatcher is the swallow-tailed flycatcher, which is a less common term for this bird.

Why Did The State of Oklahoma Choose the Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher as Its State Bird?

State birds are official symbols of a particular US state, so there are usually good reasons for choosing them. When it comes to the state of Oklahoma, the state chose the scissor-tailed flycatcher as its state bird primarily due to the fact that it eats mostly harmful insects. One example of a harmful insect that this bird eats is a wasp. The scissortail bird eats almost exclusively insects, as a matter of fact. This is why this bird is known as an insectivorous bird.

Are Scissor-tailed Flycatchers Aggressive Birds?

Many types of birds are not particularly aggressive, even when humans encroach upon their nests. However, this cannot be said for the scissor-tailed flycatcher. The scissortail will aggressively defend its nest whenever necessary. This even means that this bird will attack bigger birds than itself, such as owls, hawks, and crows.

The scissortail is a part of the Tyrannus genus. This genus got its name because several birds in the genus defend their breeding territories extremely aggressively. A typical clutch of scissortail eggs that they defend so aggressively contains between three and six eggs.

Where do Scissor-tailed Flycatchers Live?

The scissortail bird has quite a large breeding habitat. This habitat stretches from Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas to western areas in Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Additionally, northeastern Mexico and some far eastern parts of New Mexico are part of this breeding habitat, too. However, some scissortail birds have been seen much further north in southern Canada and much further east in the states of Georgia and Florida.

These are only occasional sightings, though. The scissortail migrates from eastern Mexico and Texas all the way to Panama and southern Mexico. This area in Panama and southern Mexico serves as their winter non-breeding habitat.

Oklahoma state bird
Scissor-tailed flycatcher
Scientific Name
Tyrannus forficatus
Year Became Official