The Black Phoebe is a small passerine bird that is commonly found in the western United States, Mexico, and Central America. It measures about 6.5 inches in length and weighs around 0.6 ounces. Its plumage is mostly black with a white belly and undertail coverts, and its wings and tail are dark brown.
One of the most distinguishing field marks of the Black Phoebe is its habit of perching on low branches, rocks, or other objects near water. It also has a habit of flicking its tail, which is shorter than its wings, while perching. The bird has a round head and a relatively short bill that is black in color.
The Black Phoebe is a resident bird in its breeding range, which extends from the southwestern United States to Panama. However, some populations of the bird in the northern parts of its range may migrate to warmer areas during the winter months. The bird prefers riparian habitats near water bodies such as streams, rivers, and ponds.
In terms of behavior, the Black Phoebe feeds primarily on insects, which it catches by flycatching. It also occasionally eats small fish and crustaceans. The bird is usually solitary or found in pairs and is territorial during the breeding season. The Black Phoebe builds its nest out of mud, which it molds into a cup shape and attaches to a vertical surface such as a cliff or a bridge.
Overall, the Black Phoebe is a fascinating bird with unique field marks and interesting behaviors. Its preference for riparian habitats and flycatching behavior make it an important part of the ecosystem in which it lives.