Black Phoebe

Sayornis nigricans

Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans, photo © by Robert Shantz

This Black Phoebe was photographed by Robert Shantz at Luna Lake, Apache County, Arizona.

Black Phoebes are common birds in the Sonoran Desert but rarely venture far from open water. They are flycatchers, relying almost exclusively on flying insects for food. Midges (small mosquito-like flies in the Chironomidae) are a frequent target. They are common in cities and agricultural districts, often hunting along irrigation ditches. Their nests are affixed to narrow ledges on cliff faces or bridge abutments, again usually close to open water.

Year-round Resident - Partial Migration - many move south or to lower elevations for winter months

More Information:

Sonoran Desert Field Guide
Sonoran Desert Places
Sonoran Desert Naturalist Home Page


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 22 June 2007,
updated 16 April 2022.