View Full Version : What Bird Is This?

10-21-2005, 02:38 AM
For weeks a bird has been visiting our yard -- I now call him"our bird." I have never seen a bird like him, but I thought that was just because I wasn't paying careful attention before. But in all this time that he's been visiting, I've still not ever seen another one like him.

He's small, smaller than the scrub jays who caw around here. About blackbird size. And he's black too, mostly. But he's not a blackbird. At first he looks all black, black feathers, black eyes, black beak, black feet...but when he turns to face you, you see he has a beautiful white belly, that terminates in an upsidedown heart shape on his chest. When he turns his head just so, you can see he has a little crest, but sometimes it's not evident at all. He has a very sweet, single CHIRP that he frequently chirps. He perches on the edge of our pool and makes little swoops over the surface, catching bugs and maybe taking a drink. He's here at all hours. Not at all afraid of our cats, who he seems to know well. But everytime I try to take a picture of him, blltttttt he is gone. I'm in the Central Valley in California, near Sacramento.

Any guesses?

September skies
10-21-2005, 02:50 AM
Could it be a black Phoebe?

I was told that once. We have something similar here, only instead of very little white, they have very little red. The ones I see (Central CA) are rare - or at least I rarely see them, and also just do a single chirp. Very sweet. Someone told me once they were Phoebes.

Here is a black Phoebe. (some have less white)

[/url]picture didn't come through, but here is the website:
[url]http://identify.whatbird.com/img/4/1426/image.aspx?x=330 (http://identify.whatbird.com/img/4/1426/image.aspx?x=330)

10-21-2005, 03:20 AM
I think you're right September, it does sound like a black phoebe. I got out my handy-dandy bird identification book and looked it up. The noise you described matches what the book says, too, ppk.

Here's a link with descriptions and pics:

Do the pictures look like your bird?

eta: Oooh, enlarge the photo of the juvenile. He looks so soft and fluffy you just want to pet him.

10-21-2005, 04:32 AM
Black Phoebe! He looks exactly like the picture in the link you posted, Esther.

And that's a great site in the link that you posted, Anne. I'm bookmarking both of these.

Now that my bird's ID'd....wouldn't ya know it? My husband's other significant girlfriend, before me, was named Phoebe.

Thanks for a quick solution to this mystery! :Clap:

September skies
10-21-2005, 04:36 AM
the birds are so sweet. thanks for the links. now I'll be watching out for them.