Black Phoebe sitting on a crab apple branch


The Northern Black Phoebes visit our yard throughout the year.

I like to observe them perched on a branch or TV cable above the front yard, scanning the area for insects. They chirp as they sit there, and quickly fly up in the air to catch insects. And then they land right back on the branch or TV cable, to scan again.

They are plump, sparrow-sized birds, with large heads that have a slight peak to the rear of the crown. They are very dark gray, almost black, with white bellies and wing feathers edged in light gray.

Apparently these birds are associated with water sources, such as streams and lake shorelines.

The only water source we have is the little birdbath on the patio, but that could be enough of an attraction for these birds.

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