Black Phoebe

(Sayornis nigricans)

The Black Phoebe is a dapper flycatcher of the western U.S. with a sooty black body and crisp white belly. They sit in the open on low perches to scan for insects, often keeping up a running series of shrill chirps. Black Phoebes use mud to build cup-shaped nests against walls, overhangs, culverts, and bridges. Look for them near any water source from small streams, to suburbs, all the way to the salt-sprayed rocks and cliffs of the Pacific Ocean.

Although it mostly eats insects, the Black Phoebe sometimes snatches minnows from the surface of ponds. It may even feed fish to nestlings.

Information from the All About Birds website, www.allaboutbirds.org, © Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

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© 2020 by AJ Reinhart