Black Phoebe 

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Sayornis Nigricans

Black Phoebe

Adults have black upperparts, head and breast. Belly and vent are white. Wings show paler feathers’ edges. Head, breast and upper back are rather sooty black.

Lower back, wings and tail are brownish slate. White color on belly form an inverted V. Dark tail shows white outer edges of external coverts. Eyes are dark brown. Legs and feet are black.

Males and females have the same plumage, but during breeding season, males have cloacal protuberance and females have brood patch.

Juveniles are browner than adults, with pale cinnamon edging and fringing on upperparts. The wingbars are buffy-cinnamon.

BILL: black, thin and pointed.

SIZE: measures about 5.9 - 7.08 inches in length, with a wingspan of 10.63 - 11.02 inches.

WEIGHT: weighs about 15 - 22 grams.

COLOR: black, white and brown.

Insects and spiders, sometimes minnows and other small fish.

Coastal cliffs, river banks, shorelines of lakes and ponds, creeks and streams, fountains in parks.

BREEDS: Along the Pacific Coasts, from southern Oregon to Central America into South America.

WINTER: In most of breeding range, but northern populations may winter along Gulf of California.

CALL: Most common is a “tsip” used all year round during flights, when foraging, or against nest predators. They also utter a loud “tseee”.

SONG: A four-syllable sound, a rising “pee-wee” followed by other descending “pee-wee”. Also a bright “pidl-eee” or “pi-ts-lee” repeated several times.

Chatter vocalizations are used when the male approaches female and during sexual behaviour.

NEST: The female selects the nest-site and builds an open cup cemented with mud to a wall or other support. Mud is mixed with grass, dry vegetation or hair and lined with woven plant fibres, feathers and hair.

It is usually situated under a ceiling, in a sheltered place, such as crevices or ledges.

EGGS: 1 - 6 white eggs slightly spotted around large end.

INCUBATION:  15 - 17 days, by the female.

FLEDGLING PHASE: 14 - 21 days.

They catch most of their food by flycatching. They will also glean insects from plant foliage, or skim the water's surface to pick up aquatic insects or small fish.

The oldest Black Phoebe on record was at least 8 years old.



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