The Great Journey in Photography

Black Phoebe

Black Phoebe

420mm f7.1 400iso 1/1600sec

The reason why I am writing about this bird today is because for a long time I didn’t know what it was. The Black Phoebe is a common bird in  California and the Southwest, I see them frequently and get some photographs from time to time, but I never took the time to establish exactly what the bird was. Then for a while I mistakenly thought they were Dark-eyed Juncos. It was not until I made the picture above a few weeks ago that I did even more research only to find out that it was indeed a Black Phoebe. Turns out hat bird identification can be tricky and it is certainly not unheard of for me to be mistaken. Most people in the country and around the world don’t have access to see this bird so today I present the Black Phoebe.

black Phoebe1

500mm f6.3 800iso 1/320sec

The Black Phoebe is a small bird about the size of a sparrow but tends to be more elusive and in smaller numbers. I usually see them in singles not pairs or groups and they usually shy away from humans darting from branch to branch. They are classified as a “flycatchers” and eat insects for the most part but do at times eat small fish as they tend to live near small bodies of water. In my experience the adults are not black at all but rather a very dark brown on most of its body with a white belly and under wings but apparently as they get older the brown turns to black. Some black phoebe’s can be found through out Mexico and Central America also, these subspecies tend to be darker in color with less white in the belly area.

You can see more of my bird photos here.

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3 responses

  1. Lovely pics!

    October 21, 2011 at 7:44 am

  2. Wow! Finally someone who knows what this bird is! I rescued a baby one of these birds in my pool back in Yucaipa and I could not find what species it was. Thanks for posting the pictures and information, Uncle Ron.

    ~Danielle

    October 27, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    • Yup- Your Grandma says it’s a Junco.

      October 27, 2011 at 12:23 pm

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