Archive for the ‘Phainopepla’ Tag

Capturing The Moment — Female Phainopepla   7 comments

Bear Canyon 2013

Female Phainopepla — Image by kenne

Perched high on the mesquite
Sky territory.


Capturing The Moment — Sabino Canyon Snowbird Part II   Leave a comment

Ned's Nature Walk -- 01-1-09-13Female Phainopepla High In A Mesquite Tree — Image by kenne

The phainopepla’s main food while wintering in the Tucson basin are desert mistletoe berries.

When eaten, the hard seeds are then passed through while the phainopepla is perched on their favorite tree branch,

often in a mesquite tree.

Ned's Nature Walk -- 01-1-09-13Female Plainopela In A Tree with Desert Mistletoe — Image by kenne

The seeds are left on the branch where they can germinate and set up a root system within the host plant.



Capturing The Moment — Sabino Canyon Snowbird   5 comments

Tosh Lawrence Nature WalkMale Phainopepla — Image by kenne

The phainopepla is a common southern Arizona bird, spending its summers on Mount Lemmon, moving south to the Sabino Canyon for the winter. And even though I have many photos of this very attractive bird, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to photograph this male phainopepla during this morning’s Ned Harris & Friends nature-walk in the canyon. 


A Bow To The Ladies!   4 comments

Female Phainopepla — Image by kenne

Earlier this month I posted “Can You Pronounce, Phainopepla?” The image in the posting was a male phainopepla — a beautiful bird. But really, this beautiful female has something to say about beauty.  

This one is for the “ladies”!


Posted December 29, 2011 by kenneturner in Capturing the Moment, Education, Information, Nature, Photography

Tagged with ,

Can You Pronounce, Phainopepla?   7 comments

Phainopepla (fain – oh – PEP – lug) — Image by kenne

When I started the Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalist program in September, one of my challenges was learning to pronounce, Phainopela.

Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens)

Image by Lip Kee via Flickr

I didn’t have trouble recognizing this beautiful bird, who wouldn’t with his majestic black robe. His name is perfectly suited for its unique dark plumage, as the name phainopepla originated from the Greek phain peplos or “shining robe.” In bright sunlight, these birds do shine, and the male’s glossy plumage is unmistakable, as shown in the above image. The Phainopela has white wing-tips that can be seen in flight.

 In the summer, the local Phainopeplas migrate up the canyon to Mt. Lemmon, where it’s cooler with a lot in insects, returning to the lower canyon in the winter when insects are scarce to feed on mistletoe berries. As  “A Naturalist’s Guide To Sabino Canyon” point out, “Sticky mistletoe seeds pass through digestive system sticking to branches where they perch, spreading mistletoe from tree to tree.” Welcome back, “black dude!”


%d bloggers like this: