Black Phoebe

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Black Phoebe, Sounds
March 13, 2017

Black Phoebe, Sounds

The Black Phoebe is a medium-size sized flycatcher (6.5”) and the only black flycatcher in North America. The upper back, breast, and head are a sooty black, while the lower back, wings, and tail are brownish slate. The belly is entirely white, along with the undertail feathers. Food Habits The Black Phoebe visually locates prey (flies, bees, beetles, butterflies…

Black-and-white Flycatcher
May 24, 2017

Black-and-white Flycatcher

15 2017 Bird migration continues in western Pennsylvania. Here’s what’s on tap this week. Flycatchers wait until warm weather brings out the flying insects so we should expect them soon. On Wednesday it’ll be 90 degrees! Watch and listen for Empidonax flycatchers: least, acadian, willow and alder. All of them are small, drab olive birds with wing bars. They look…

Black Phoebe Symbolism
June 14, 2017

Black Phoebe Symbolism

We commonly attribute personal significance to objects—an ex-lovers T-shirt, for example—and, for me, some animals and plants possess a similar totemic power, calling to mind a particular emotion or experience. During a short art and writing residency in the Catskills (the Platte Clove Artists-in-Residence, run by the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development…

Black Phoebe Facts
June 20, 2017

Black Phoebe Facts

One of the more common birds around households in the west, the “phoebe”, pronounced “fee-bee”, comes from the high pitched short, thin whistled call of this bird (listen). In Greek mythology, Phoebe is the “moon goddess”, but I doubt if that had anything to do with the bird’s naming. Black and white, it is usually seen near water where it finds a perch from…

Black Phoebe California
June 17, 2017

Black Phoebe California

A black phoebe perches in Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Photograph by Frank and Joyce Burek, National Geographic Creative About the Black Phoebe A distinctive black-and-white phoebe of the southwest, the black phoebe is almost always found near water. Polytypic (5 ssp.). Length 4.5 . Black head, upperparts, breast; contrasting white…