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Favorite Birds with Long Tails

Why do some birds have especially long tails?  Here are a couple of the reasons.

The Greater Roadrunner uses its long tail as a counter-balance as it makes rapid turns.

The long tail of the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher may have evolved to make the males more attractive to the females.  

In other species, who knows?

Here are six of our favorite birds with long tails.

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Male scissor-tailed flycatcher in flight showing the underside of the wings.
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. Photograph © Greg Lavaty. View large image.


long-tailed duck, male in breeding plumage sitting on the water
Long-tailed Duck. Photograph © Alan Wilson.


long-tailed jaeger in breeding plumage, sitting on the nest.
Long-tailed Jaeger.  Photograph © Alan Wilson.


Magnificent Frigatebird in flight, showing the underside of the wings.
Magnificent Frigatebird. Photograph © Greg Lavaty.


Greater Roadrunner with long tail in a cocked up position.
Greater Roadrunner. Photograph © Alan Wilson.


Black-billed Magpie sitting on a branch, side view.
Black-billed Magpie. Photograph © Alan Wilson.