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
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Bird Sound Type: Buzzing
Sex of Bird: Male
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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: April 13, 2024
  • Link:

APA Style

Dr. Biology. (2017, July 13). Phainopepla. ASU - Ask A Biologist. Retrieved April 13, 2024 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. 13 Apr 2024.

Modern Language Association, 7th Ed. For more info, see
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