This is a Black Phoebe! New member Dan found this bird at Willhair Park this past Saturday and posted to the web his findings. In fact, he found two Black Phoebes at the park! I followed up on his sighting, refound one bird, and managed a couple of diagnostic photos. (Sliding down a twenty-foot embankment without breaking me or the camera was a challenge.)
In all my years of birding, I’ve never seen a Black Phoebe in or around the Big Country. They’re found further south in the Hill Country and even further south into Mexico. Perhaps they’re expanding their winter range or maybe they’ve been here all along, tucked away behind resident houses along Cedar Creek. Or maybe they followed in the wingbeats of the Great Kiskadee which is again being seen and heard in the same areas as last fall. Whatever the reason, I’m excited to announce this great find. Look for the Black Phoebe along the creek perched low on overhanging branches.
As icing on this morning’s birding, a couple of Sharp-shinned Hawks were chasing each other among the elms and pecans. The female sat still long enough to say, “cheese.” If you want to know what else I saw, check out the 11-19-2007 Sightings. It’s amazing how much bird life is “out there.”