Archive for the ‘Ernie Cowan’ Tag

A Phainopepla In Sabino Canyon   1 comment

A Phainopepla In Sabino Canyon — Image by kenne

“You could call them jet setters, or maybe farmer birds, but for sure, the active little phainopepla is one of San Diego’s more interesting bird species.

Also known as the black cardinal, this busy little bird is often thought of as strictly a desert dweller. But the phainopepla lives a country club life, moving to more moderate climates in the summer, then back to the desert for the rest of the year. With distinctive topknots on both male and female birds, this is an easy bird to identify if you get close enough. From a distance, they can be identified by their color, shape and distinctive flight pattern.

The males are a silky jet black, and the females are gray with their wing feathers edged in off-white. They are sleek birds, about 71/2 inches in length with long tail feathers and a wingspan of just under a foot.

When in flight, the males display white patches on their wings, and they fly in an up-and-down motion. They are nervous birds, often seen perched at the very top of trees and shrubs, where they can spot any approaching threat.” Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune

 
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