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The Prettiest Bird in Kansas

Written By Richie Alston


Kansas is full of stunning birds. Each of these birds adds a splash of color and character to the Kansas landscape, making it a wonderful place for birdwatching and nature appreciation. But, which is the prettiest of them all?

Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher

Location: Across Kansas

Habitat: Open Country, Fields

Rarity: Connon

Latin: Tyrannus forficatus

The Scissor-tailed Flycatcher is famous for its long, forked tail, which it uses with remarkable agility in flight. This elegant bird has a pale gray body with salmon-pink flanks and underwings, creating a beautiful contrast when in flight.

Often seen perched on wires or fences in open country, the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher is a graceful and common sight in Kansas, especially in the summer months.

Other Pretty Birds in Kansas

Of course, the Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher isn’t the only pretty bird in the whole of Kansas. Here are a few birds that made our shortlist:

1) Painted Bunting

Location: Southern Kansas

Habitat: Woodlands, Thickets

Rarity: Uncommon

Latin: Passerina ciris

The Painted Bunting is often described as a “flying rainbow” due to its vibrant plumage. Males showcase an array of colors including bright blue, green, yellow, and red, making them one of the most strikingly colorful birds in North America.

They prefer brushy areas and woodlands, where their brilliant colors surprisingly offer good camouflage among bright flowers and foliage. The sight of a Painted Bunting is always a delightful surprise for birdwatchers in Kansas.

2) Indigo Bunting

Location: Across Kansas

Habitat: Woodlands, Fields

Rarity: Common

Latin: Passerina cyanea

The Indigo Bunting is a small bird with an almost iridescent blue plumage in males, which appears even more vibrant against the green foliage of woodlands where it resides.

These buntings are often seen singing from high perches, their melodious songs adding to the charm of Kansas’s natural landscapes. They are common in the state and are a favorite among birdwatchers due to their striking blue color.

3) Northern Cardinal

Location: Across Kansas

Habitat: Gardens, Woodlands

Rarity: Common

Latin: Cardinalis cardinalis

The Northern Cardinal is a well-known and beloved bird across Kansas. Males are particularly striking with their bright red plumage and a distinctive black mask around the bill.

Cardinals are adaptable, often found in gardens and backyards, making them a familiar sight to many residents. Their beautiful songs and striking appearance make them a cherished part of Kansas’s birdlife.

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