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Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens)
Birds Around Las Vegas, Wildlife Around Las Vegas
Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens)
Male Phainopepla

General Description: Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens) are medium sized, crested birds with red eyes and white wing patches that show in flight. Males are all black, and females and juvenile males are gray-brown.

Taxonomy: Passeriformes, Ptiliogonatidae (Silky-flycatchers).

Favored Habitat: Desert areas with mistletoe.

Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens)
Female Phainopepla

Where to Find: Phainopepla are residents in areas where they can find mistletoe berries. Look for them in Calico Basin at Red Rocks, the Henderson BVP, Sunset Park, and Overton WMA.

Comments: Phainopepla are adept flycatchers, but they are better known for eating and dispersing mistletoe berries. If you find a good patch of honey mesquite or catclaw acacia with lots of mistletoe, look around for the Phainopepla. Listen for their low, single-note, whistled call.

Phainopepla and mistletoe
Phainopepla scat
Mesquite mistletoe seeds (Phoradendron californicum) left on the branch of a shrub live oak by Phainopepla. Fortunately for the oak, it is not a host for this species of mistletoe. Oaks get oak mistletoe (Phoradendron villosum).
Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens) If you were a tasty bug or a big fat mistletoe berry, this might be the last face you'd ever see!
Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens)
Adult male
Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens)
Adult female
Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens)
Adult male
Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens)
Juvenile
Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens) Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens)
Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens) Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens)
Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens)
Phainopepla female in sunset colors
Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens)
Phainopepla female in sunset colors
Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens)
Phainopepla female
Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens)
Phainopepla female
Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens) Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens)
Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens) Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens)
Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens) Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens)
Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens)
Pair of Phainopepla in a mesquite
Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens)
Scat in honey mesquite tree
Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens)
Scat in honey mesquite tree
Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens)
Scat on desert almond shrub
Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens)
Mistletoe fruits are fleshy with sticky pulp and a large seed
Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens)
Mistletoe seeds recently eaten and pooped by a Phainopepla
Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens)
Mistletoe seeds recently eaten and pooped by a Phainopepla
Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens)
Older seeds eaten and pooped by a Phainopepla, now sprouting
Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens)
Older seeds eaten and pooped by a Phainopepla, now sprouting
more to come ...

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 150705

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