Phainopepla nitens
Phainopepla thumbnail
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.

Female | Robert Shantz


Mesquite bosque

Riparian / River forest

Bird Sound Type: Buzzing
Sex of Bird: Male
Sonogram Large:
Sonogram Zoom:
Bird Sound Type: Buzzing
Sex of Bird: Male
Sonogram Large:
Sonogram Zoom:

View Citation

You may need to edit author's name to meet the style formats, which are in most cases "Last name, First name."

Bibliographic details:

  • Article: Phainopepla
  • Author(s): Dr. Biology
  • Publisher: Arizona State University School of Life Sciences Ask A Biologist
  • Site name: ASU - Ask A Biologist
  • Date published: July 13, 2017
  • Date accessed: March 24, 2018
  • Link:

APA Style

Dr. Biology. (2017, July 13). Phainopepla. ASU - Ask A Biologist. Retrieved March 24, 2018 from

American Psychological Association. For more info, see

Chicago Manual of Style

Dr. Biology. "Phainopepla". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 13 July, 2017.

MLA 2017 Style

Dr. Biology. "Phainopepla". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 13 Jul 2017. ASU - Ask A Biologist, Web. 24 Mar 2018.

Modern Language Association, 7th Ed. For more info, see
What is Organic Food?

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 Volunteers page to get the process started.

Donate icon  Contribute

Share to Google Classroom