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The Black Phoebe reaches a length of 14cm, and unlike other phoebes, has very contrasting plumage, black on the head, breast, back, wings, and tail, and white on the underbelly and under the wings.
Mountainous areas of South America (Andes of northwestern Argentina, western Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela; coastal mountains of Venezuela); Central America (from Panama to Mexico); southwestern North America (southwestern Oregon and California to west Texas).
Highlands near water.
This species spends more time along streams and ponds than the other phoebe species, and is not migratory but stays in its range year-round. Like other phoebes, it continually wags its tail when perched, and waits on open perches before flying out to catch insects.
The diet includes insects but occasionally fish. It dives into ponds to catch small minnows or other tiny fish.
The female builds the nest from grass and mud under a wall, bridge or cliff. The 3-6 white eggs are incubated for about 14 days; the young fledge in about another 14 days. Often two broods are raised in a season.
Song is a series of phrases, rendered sisee and sitsew, and its call is similar to that of the Eastern Phoebe.
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