Black Phoebe

Sayornis nigricans

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Tyrant Flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Code 4

BLPH

Code 6

SAYNIG

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Black Phoebe has a large range of 2,970,000 square kilometers. It occurs along streams, rivers, and other wetlands in southwestern Oregon, California, parts of the American southwest, much of Mexico, Central America, and the Andes south to northern Argentina. The Black Phoebe has an estimated breeding population of 6 million, and a conservation rating of Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Black Phoebe: Medium flycatcher, mostly black body and white belly. Outer tail feathers and undertail coverts are white. Bill, legs, feet are black. Feeds primarily on insects, sometimes small fish. Weak fluttering bouyant flight with shallow wing beats. Sallies from perch to catch insects in air.

 

Range and Habitat

Black Phoebe: This species is a resident from coastal Oregon, throughout California and southwestern U.S. to western Texas; it also occurs throughout Mexico and into the tropics. Its preferred habitats include shady areas near water, streams, ponds, and lakes; it also occurs in city parks and open chaparral in winter.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"seek"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Although primarily insectivorous, they will occasionally catch fish.
  • The male Black Phoebe shows the female potential nest sites by hovering in front of a likely spot. The female makes the final decision about where to place the nest and does all the construction.
  • They are territorial and solitary nesters, often remaining year-round in an established territory.
  • A group of flycatchers has many collective nouns, including an "outfield", "swatting", "zapper", and "zipper" of flycatchers.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Yury Lisyak

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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Undertail covertsX
Small feathers that cover the areas where the retrices (tail feathers) attach to the rump.
BellyX
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
Outer tail feathersX
The tail feathers farthest from the center.
UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X