Species, Date, Time and Location Information
4/15/2020 10:10:00 AM
4/15/2020 10:30:00 AM
Duration (total time in view):
Rigden Reservoir at Arapaho Bend Natural Area
Along fenceline along the railroad tracks and in willows along stream
Bausch and Lomb Elite 10X42 binoculars
approximately 40 feet
Fairly bright with sun behind me
Description of the Bird
The bird was typical flycatcher structure with a big head appearance and posture when sitting. The back was very dark grayish/black as was the head, wings and tail. The throat was the same dark color as the back. The flanks were also the same color as the back. The sides of the breast were also the same color as the back. The middle of the breast was very white and this expanded to the entire width of the lower flanks giving a whitish triangle look when viewed from the front with the point of the triangle at the middle of the breast. The eyes and bill were also black.
The bird would sit on wooden fence posts and flycatch from there going to the ground and out in air catching small prey that I could not see. It would then land again on either the fence post or another fence post or the top wire of the fence. This behaviour was repeated dozens of times. After about 20 minutes, I turned to follow a Swallow that was flying by. When I turned back, the Phoebe was gone and I could not relocate.
Similar Species Discussion
The flycatching actions and big-head structure pointed straight to a flycatcher. It was too large for a warbler and no other bird normally acts like that. Once I got a clear look at the bird from the back and front, I did not consider any other bird.
My memory. I have seen dozens of Black Phoebes in the southwest and California and have seen 6 in Colorado now.
I have seen dozens of Black Phoebes in the U. S. including Colorado.
Date Documentation Submitted
4/23/2020 3:22:00 PM
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