Black Phoebe, Sayornis Nigricans

August 5, 2019 Birds from Colombia

The Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans, breeds from southwest Oregon and California through Central and South America.In Colombia, it is found from 100 to 2800 m.a.s.l.  in the three mountain ranges, the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and in the Serranías de Perijá and la Macarena. 

Atrapamoscas guarda puentes, Sayornis nigricans|The Black Phoebe

It is found in semi-open areas near bodies of water (streams, rivers, lakes), mainly in foothills and mountains. It feeds primarily on aquatic microinvertebrates and arthropods that live on the surface of the water and the nearby vegetation, including wasps, bees, flies, termites, beetles, dragonflies, and spiders. It is a bird frequently seen perched on rocks in streams and other places exposed to water. They capture their prey in midair and immediately go back to their perch.

Atrapamoscas guarda puentes, Sayornis nigricans|The Black Phoebe Victoria Restrepo ©

It is a mainly monogamous species. The male searches and shows the female where the nest should be built, and she builds it. The nest is cup-shaped and made of mud, grass, plant fibers, and sometimes animal hair stuck on a vertical surface near the water. They usually lay two eggs, which are incubated mainly by the female for 15 to 17 days. The chicks leave the nest after 14 to 21 days after the eggs hatch.

Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans 

Victoria Restrepo ©


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