Phainopepla

Phainopepla nitens

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Silky Flycatcher (Ptilogonatidae)

Code 4

PHAI

Code 6

PHANIT

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Phainopepla has a very large range estimated at roughly 1,300,000 square kilometers. This bird can be found in the United States and Mexico, with vagrant populations in Canada. Its preferred habitat includes forests, shrubland and desert locations. The global population of this bird is estimated to be around 3,600,000 individual birds. Currently, it is not believed that the population trends for this species will soon approach the minimum levels that could suggest a potential decline in population. Due to this, population trends for the Phainopepla have a present evaluation level of Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Phainopepla: Small, flycatcher-like bird with glossy black body. Head has distinct crest and short, thin, black bill. Wings have large white patches visible in flight. Tail is long. Iris is red. Legs and feet are black. Feeds primarily on mistlestoe berries and small insects. Direct flight is high and fluttery.


Range and Habitat

Phainopepla: Breeds in the northern interior of California, southern Nevada, southern Utah, central Arizona, and southern New Mexico southward into Mexico and the Baja Peninsula. Spends winters in the southern part of its breeding range. Primarily found in washes, riparian areas, and other habitats that support arid scrubs.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"hoooeet", "quirk"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Phainopepla is particularly notable for its pattern of breeding twice each year, in two different habitats.
  • An individual eats at least 1,100 mistletoe berries per day, when they are available.
  • When pursued by predators or handled by humans, it mimics the calls of other birds; imitations of at least 13 species have been recorded.
  • A group of silky flycatchers are collectively known as "a stand of silky flycatchers", and a "strand of silky flycatchers."

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Phainopepla

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Juan Costa

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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CrestX
Tufts of feathers on the head of the bird.
RiparianX
Relating to or living or located on the bank of a natural watercourse (as a river) or sometimes of a lake or a tidewater. 
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X