The Phainopepla is a striking bird, 16–20 cm long with a noticeable crest and a long tail; it is slender, and has an upright posture when it perches. Its bill is short and slender. The male is glossy black, and has a white wing patch that is visible when it flies; the female is plain gray and has a lighter gray wing patch. Both sexes have red eyes, but these are more noticeable in the female than the male.

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The Phainopepla is classified as Least Concern. Does not qualify for a more at risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category.

The Phainopepla is about the size of the familiar red cardinal and has a crest but the male is all black and females are gray. As is the case with most birds, the juveniles resemble the females. - One really great online place to see videos of this charmer is HERE. In flight, you can see they have white patches on their wings. And unless you are careful, you WILL see them in flight. More

The Phainopepla inhabits arid wood lands and deserts of the southwestern United States and Mexico. This long-tailed, crested bird is common and conspicuous in the Sonoran Desert, where it perches atop mesquite or palo verde trees, calling with a questioning “ Wurp? ” while flicking its tail and turning from side to side. The female in gray plumage, and the male in glossy black, flutter and zigzag, especially in pursuit of flying insects. More

The Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens) is the most northerly representative of the mainly tropical Central American family Ptilogonatidae, the silky flycatchers. More

They are mostly sedentary, but the Phainopepla is migratory over the northern part of its range. They are related to waxwings, and like that group have a soft silky plumage, usually grey or pale yellow in colour. All species, with the exception of the Black-and-yellow Silky-flycatcher, have small crests. They range in size from 18–25 cm in length and are mostly slender birds (with the exception again of the Black-and-yellow Silky-flycatcher). More

The Phainopepla has a very large range estimated at roughly 1,300,000 square kilometers. This bird can be found in the United States and Mexico, with vagrant populations in Canada. Its preferred habitat includes forests, shrubland and desert locations. The global population of this bird is estimated to be around 3,600,000 individual birds. Currently, it is not believed that the population trends for this species will soon approach the minimum levels that could suggest a potential decline in population. More

Female Phainopepla, taken 12-29-05 at Lost Dutchman State Park. © Tiffany Hawkins, used with permission Prev Next Local Birds Arizona's State BirdRio Salado Habitat Restoration AreaRiparian Preserve at Water Ranch Contribute to About Phoenix Submit a Photo: Birds, Sunsets, Fireworks, or ... More

NATURAL HISTORY: Phainopeplas have a very close relationship with mistletoe, eating and dispersing their seeds and even nesting in it. When you see mistletoe in a tree, remember how it likely got there (as a seed in a phainopepla dropping). In addition to mistletoe berries, Phainopeplas also eat other berries, and insects. More

Although the Phainopepla is a waxed wing flycatcher, it primary diet consists of mistletoe berries, and it lives in habitats where mistletoe thrives, including the desert wash. It does eat other berries, including juniper and grapes, and it will also eat insects. The name Phainopepla is Greek, meaning "Silky Robe" describing the shining black coat of the male. In addition to its silky robe and crest, this bird is easily distinguished by its red eyes. More

southwestern United States and Mexico, the Phainopepla is unique in taxonomy, distribution, and behavior. It is particularly notable for its enigmatic pattern of breeding twice each year, in two different habitats. More

The Phainopepla, birding in southern ArizonaThe Phainopepla Birding in Southern Arizona This is a beautiful and striking bird showing, off a crest and a long, shimmering tail. It is a member of the flycatcher family with the male being glossy black and the female being plain grey. They both have a white white patch that is only visible when they are in flight-the females patch is more of a lighter grey than a white. More

Phainopepla is closely associated with mistletoe, a parasitic plant that grows on many desert trees especially mesquite (Prosopis spp.). Phainopeplas have a specialized digestive system for consuming mistletoe berries. In the gizzard they remove the seed and pulp from the seed coat of the berries; they then digest the pulp and defecate the seeds and seed coat separately, usually on the branch of the tree where the bird was perched. More

The Phainopepla has three attractions for me: the obscurity of its name, which in Greek means ‘shining robe’, its distinctively western range – a Texas bird that is at home in El Charco scrubland – and its flycatcher-like bold, solemn perching pose. Like a Vermilion Flycatcher, the Phainopepla will sally forth and catch an insect on the wing; but it has another food source, one that adds a great deal of interest to the bird’s character: mistletoe. More

PhainopeplaThe Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens) is the most northerly representative of the mainly tropical Central American family Ptilogonatidae, the silky flycatchers. Physical description The Phainopepla is a striking bird, 16-20 cm long with a noticeable crest and a long tail; it is slender, and has an upright posture when it perches. Its bill is short and slender. The male is glossy black, and has a white wing patch that is visible when it flies. More

Aspects of the topic phainopepla are discussed in the following places at Britannica. Assorted References * silky flycatcher (in silky flycatcher (bird)) In the best known of the group, the phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens), the male is black and the female gray; both parents incubate the dark-spotted pale gray eggs and help care for the young. More

United States, the silky-flycatcher known as the Phainopepla is a specialist on the berries of desert mistletoe. Few other birds in North America have such an intimate relationship with a single plant species. Phainopepla Mistletoe is a parasitic plant, of course, growing on the branches of trees, and it is More

The phainopepla is a small (7-7 1/2") glossy black bird native to southern Arizona, California, parts of Texas and Mexico. It is thought to be the only North American bird that nests in two different regions during the same breeding season. It builds an early nest in the desert and then moves to the cooler, higher elevation areas to build a second nest in the moister habitat. More

Phainopeplas love mistletoe berries and can eat over a thousand berries in a day. Depending on the habitat, Phainopeplas can be very territorial. In the desert, they perch atop saguaro and ocotillos, fiercely defending their territories. In woodland areas, however, they share nesting areas. Phainopeplas winter in deserts and summer in woodland areas. Phainopeplas, when pursued by predators or handled by humans, mimics the calls of other birds. More

Phainopeplas breed in two distinct habitats at different times of the year, an unusual pattern among North American passerines. Between February and April the species breeds in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona and in the portion of the Sonoran Desert extending into California, called the Colorado Desert. As summer heat intensifies and berry supplies dwindle, Phainopeplas vacate the desert. In May, they arrive in the oak and sycamore canyons of Arizona and California, where they breed through July. More

phainopepla female Show machine tags (0) Hide machine tags (0) Additional Information All rights reserved Anyone can see this photo * Taken in Clark County, Nevada (map) * Taken with a Nikon D300. More

Phainopepla in Brampton, near Toronto, Ontario This is the second record for Ontario if accepted by the Ontario Bird Records Committee. The first record was a first basic male from 27 December 1975 to 21 January 1976 at Duttona Beach, Elgin. See 2005 OBRC Report in Ontario Birds Volume 23 Number 2, page 68, August 2006. Scroll down for six photos. Phainopepla on Ascot Avenue on 22 November 2009. More

The phainopepla belongs to a small group of birds known as the silky flycatchers, but they are not related to true flycatchers. Their diet is primarily desert mistletoe. It disperses mistletoe seeds to host plants as the seeds pass through the birds’ digestive system. The male is shiny and black with a crest and bright red eyes, while the female is gray and also has red eyes. Length: 7.75 in. Wingspan: 11 in. More

The Phainopepla is the northernmost of a group of tropical birds that feed on mistletoe. In the Southwest the berries are seasonal, so it supplements them with insects, which it takes from the air in long sallies, like a typical flycatcher. The Phainopepla has a unique relationship with its main food source, mistletoe berries. Mistletoe berries are dependent on the bird to plant them on the branch of a tree. More

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Picture of Phainopepla nitens above has been licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike.
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Order : Passeriformes
Family : Bombycillidae
Genus : Phainopepla
Species : nitens
Authority : (Swainson, 1838)