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Bird Details

Perching Perching

Phainopepla

Phainopepla nitens

Phainopepla
copyright Richard Ditch
Length: 8 in. (20 cm)
Perching conspicuously at the tops of scattered trees, this desert species is easy to find. It occurs in riparian areas at lower altitudes in the winter and early spring where it makes its first nest of the year. Then in the heat of summer Phainopeplas move to moister and often higher altitudes to nest again. They depend heavily on fruits of the parasitic plant mistletoe, but they also hawk flying insects like a flycatcher to feed their young. The small nest is made of twigs, leaves and spider webbing and usually placed high in a mistletoe clump in the crown of a tree. The four-digit banding code is PHAI.

Desert
Desert

Riparian / River forest
Riparian / River forest

Shrubs
Shrubs

Mesquite bosque
Mesquite bosque

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Male
Buzzing (sound type)
Bird Call
Download sound

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Male
Buzzing (sound type)
Bird Call
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CR_PHAI_CALLS_1_072201_S.jpg
Male
Buzzing (sound type)
Bird Call

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CR_PHAI_CALLS_2_031702_S.jpg
Male
Buzzing (sound type)
Bird Call

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Share to Google Classroom

Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.