Documentation of Black Phoebe

Observer Information

Reporter:  Scott Somershoe  7490 W Caley Dr,   Littleton, CO  80123-3032
Other Observers:  first reported (found) by photographer Lori Bollendock and posted on a Facebook page, but hadn't been picked up on birding lists. I located and reported it, and it was seen by many local birders

Species, Date, Time and Location Information

Species:  Black Phoebe
First Date/Time:  7/14/2015 10:00:00 AM
Last Date/Time:  7/24/2015 7:30:00 AM
Duration (total time in view):  45 min
County:  Jefferson
Specific Location:  Waterton Canyon
Number:  1
Age:  Adult
Sex:  Unknown
Plumage:  Breeding


riparian zone along the S Platte

Description of the Bird

A flycatcher, nearly all black with a white belly through the vent, slight tail pumping.  I recall some call notes, but don't have that written down or in my eBird checklist.

The bird appeared paired with an eastern phoebe.  Others also reported the birds together and possibly visiting a nest site in a concrete water control structure.  You can't see the possible nesting area without being in the river due to fencing.  Both times I saw the Black phoebe, the eastern was right there with it. The eastern sang several times (I had recorded the song), so potentially the black was a female.  Uncertain though.

Similar Species Discussion

Nothing very similar to a black phoebe.  It's quite a distinct bird.

Resources Used

I have seen black phoebes in other states and didn't use any resources to ID the bird.  It's distinct and unlikely to be confused with other species.

Previous Experience

I've seen then on 19 other occasions (not including the 2 from this report).  i saw my lifer in south TX in 2008, have seen them in California numerous places, in SE Arizona, and once in Chiapas Mexico.  My use of eBird made this compilation too easy (and fun!).


Notes made AFTER observation

Materials Available

Photographer: Scott Somershoe

Photos |


Date Documentation Submitted

10/17/2016 1:11:00 PM
Click left or right edges of photos to move through all; click outside image to close

Location Map

The marker on the map shows an approximation of the location of this report. The marker is generated using a prioritized Logic base:
1) If the observer has entered coordinates, they will be shown.
2) No specific coordinates are available but the location is mappable.
3) A generic location with no specific coordinates is mapped to the center of the reported county.

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