Black Phoebe: Medium flycatcher, mostly black body and white belly. Outer tail feathers and undertail coverts are white. Bill, legs, feet are black. Feeds primarily on insects, sometimes small fish. Weak fluttering bouyant flight with shallow wing beats. Sallies from perch to catch insects in air.
Range and Habitat
Black Phoebe: Resident in northern California and southwestern U.S.; also occurs in the tropics. Preferred habitats include shady areas near water, streams, ponds, and lakes; occurs in city parks and open chaparral in winter.
Although primarily insectivorous, they will occasionally catch fish.
The male Black Phoebe shows the female potential nest sites by hovering in front of a likely spot. The female makes the final decision about where to place the nest and does all the construction.
They are territorial and solitary nesters, often remaining year-round in an established territory.
A group of flycatchers has many collective nouns, including an "outfield", "swatting", "zapper", and "zipper" of flycatchers.
The Black Phoebe is native to several countries in North America and Central America, including Mexico, the United States and Ecuador. The range of this bird is around 3 million square kilometers throughout this large area. The population of the Black Phoebe, which prefers a freshwater habitat, is thought to be nearing 1 million individual birds. Currently, the Black Phoebe has a Least Concern rating, downgraded from Lower Risk, in 2000 due to its stable and large population. There is no concern that this bird is in danger at this time.