BLACK PHOEBE


Sayornis nigricans


Description:

These birds can be found "wagging" their tails and flycatching from low perches. Some of these birds migrate and some do not. They are territorial and can usually be repeatedly seen in the same area. These birds build mud/grass nests and are solitary breeders. Their song is a sharp and repeated pi-tsee. These are one of my favorite birds.


Appearance:

All black with a white chest, flank, side, and a grayish/white undertail. Their crown appears to be somewhat pointed. 6 to 7.5 inches in length.


Habitat:

Grasslands, backyards, and marshes. I have seen lots of these birds in the grass/weedy regions around Lake Murray.


Nesting:

3-6 white eggs with a few faint speckles and a 15-17 day incubation period. Fledging occurs 14-21 days after hatching. The nest is made from mud, moss, and grass. It is lined with soft material, such as feathers and hair. The nest is usually built close to water and in a sheltered region, such as a crevice.


Observed Locations:

  • Lake Murray, La Mesa
  • Santee Lake, Santee
  • Lindo Lake, Lakeside
  • Bird and Butterfly Garden and Wigginton Ranch, Tijuana River Valley
  • Throughout entire county


  Listen To This Bird ( mp3 )
         Song #1




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