phoebe Photo by

The sharp whistle of a Black Phoebe is a conventional sound, which can be heard along streams and ponds. That explorer, who examines such scope of a surface, most likely, will see a bird, that has fallen low over water, slowly wagging a tail, then rushing to a rapid flight in order to seize an insect slightly above a water surface. The bird lives in open landscapes nearby aqua reservoirs, in the area from the South-West of north part of the United States through Central America to Bolivia and Northwest Argentina. Its length is of 16 cm.

Black Phoebe makes about 5 1/2 long. It is a small flycatcher with has black head, a back, sides and the top part of a breast. It has very white belly; and the surface under the tail and wings is also white. Its black beak is surrounded by whiskers and black legs. Both sexes are similar at each other externally.

Such kind of bird is mostly met in Northern California and at the most part of the southwest. It is usually in a shadow and always found near some water about any kind - including swimming pools, small ponds, vernal pools, flooded fields, lakes, and streams. It is probably a bird one can find in the city park, and fortunately, it is not so timid around people. Black Phoebe eats food, which is not seasonal, usually it is not flying and remains in one area about a year. Like most flycatchers, they are often seen on an exposed perch whence they fly out to catch insects and return to the same perch.

They generally eats insects, but, as it is known, it catches gudgeons in order to feed with them its small birds. Sometimes it also hunts for small fish at the water surface. The most noticeable behavior is its way of catching the insects.

Cup-shaped nest is built from blobs of mud and grass on the rock ledge near water. There are 2 to 6 eggs in the clutch, incubation of which lasts from 2 to 3 weeks. At the age of 3 weeks the young birds become independent. Often birds nest twice a year.

Such kind of flycatchers rarely uses natural resources for nesting; black phoebe prefer buildings, bridges and water throughput pipes where they build nests of cemented mud to a vertical wall of the site. Generally all nests have common feature, which are:

  • ❦ the ceiling which protects a nest from weather conditions and serves as a concealment;
  • ❦ placement, which is close or directly over water,
  • ❦ placement, which is near to source of mud for building materials,
  • ❦ in area, which is suitable for feeding.



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