Photogenic Phoebe

I saw this striking black and white bird darting out from its perch to snap at insects flying by.  It acted like our Eastern Phoebe, but was a much prettier bird.

black phoebe. Sayornis nigricans

Since the bird returned often to the same perch, I just hung out there to see if I could get a close-up.

Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans

Kind of looks like he is keeping an eye on me, instead of vice versa.

Black Phoebes are strictly a western species, occurring along the coast of California   down to Mexico and through Mexico and Central America.  They like to stay near water, and can even scoop little fish from the surface of streams and lakes, but they are known as “hawkers”, that is, sit-and-wait predators that snatch insects flying by.  Another trait that makes them memorable is their tail wag, accompanied by a high-pitched buzz-tweep call.

Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans

Black Phoebes seem to be fairly tolerant of photographers, at least this one was.

5 thoughts on “Photogenic Phoebe

  1. Interesting that you mention that. The crabapples in the garden were loaded with fruit not being eaten, so there must be a lot of food available there right now.

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