HIKES AND NATURE WALKS IN THE SAN GABRIELS
Walks on the Wild Side, Fall-Winter, 2008-9
November 19, 2008
1. Three Black and White Birds: their sounds, their silhouettes
The black phoebe is black except for a white belly. The female and young are dark brown. Its tail-wagging and erect posture are aids to identification.
Observe its characteristic posture in this photo. Guys? Come on, guys, we're observing the bird here. Yes?
The most common sound is made of two notes, the second downslurred, "fee-bit, fee-bee". Hear it here.
The phainopepla has a perky crest and a long tail and an upright posture when it perches. The male is black with white wing patches visible when it flies. It looks to me like a mockingbird with the white spots in the wrong place. Click on the thumbnail images to see larger pictures.
An individual phainopepla eats at least 1,100 mistletoe berries per day, when they are available.
To hear its sound click here.
The Lewis's woodpecker, named for Meriwether Lewis, appears solid black at a distance. Sometimes you can see the white under the chin. Look carefully at the silhouette in Graham's photo (second above). The closeup photo is from Wikipedia.
It is usually silent, although it will make weak chattering or chirring notes. To listen to them, click here.
Other smaller black and white birds we saw and heard:
mountain chickadee - black and white face
junco - white outer tail feathers, central section black
yellow-rumped warbler - faint black and white streaking overall with yellow throat and rump patch
What we saw: