Fork-Tailed Flycatcher, Florida, 2012

A rare (ABA Code 3) visitor from So. America, this bird was spotted near Fossil Pt. Road, Lost River Preserve, in Ruskin, FL, by a couple of birders from Kentucky on Jan. 18, 2012 and the word went out to rare bird lists. Since then, birders from the US and Canada have traveled to the spot to see the bird, who has been rather predictable in its daily movements. It spends mornings and early afternoon on a wire fence some distance away from Fossil Pt. Road, visible with a scope or through binoculars. Every afternoon, though, it flies over to a large, leafless tree, which it uses as a base for perching and waiting for insects to fly by. Having people within 20 feet or so is of no concern, as it sallies out to catch its prey, often within a foot or two of the birders set up to take its picture. It's missing its long, left feather, but that did not alter the fact that it is still a pretty bird, but then, I think all birds are pretty in their own right.

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