Date of this Version
The Nebraska Bird Review Vol. 86 No. 3 (2018), pp 128-130
In a follow-up visit to the site near Alexandria, Thayer Co., where I documented a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher nest with eggs in 2017, I found a pair present at the same site on 8 June 2018. After some searching, I found that their nest, with 4 eggs, was built in the same upright crotch of the same branch where it was located the year before. I knew it was a completely new nest, since the previous nest had been removed after the nesting season the year before. On a second visit on 13 August 2018, to see if the birds and/or young might still be present, I saw an adult appear and then leave as I approached. I planned to check the nest to learn what I could, but found that no trace remained of the nest. While I was searching the area, a Northern Mockingbird with food in its beak appeared briefly before leaving again. While searching the few scattered, scrubby hackberry trees in the area, I spotted what I thought was the mockingbird nest, just above eye level in a tree about 30 feet from the nest I found on 8 June. I reached up, felt a single chick, and lifted it out to examine it. It turned out to be a stub-tailed Scissor-tailed Flycatcher chick about 10 days old, squawking in protest. To my surprise, it slipped from my hand and fluttered to the ground, as it was still unable to fly. The adult immediately returned and began scolding me. I picked up the chick, snapped a picture of it, and returned it to the nest, where it remained when I left.