• East view from Crissy Field overlook with old Coast Guard station on left and city on right

    Presidio of San Francisco


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Black Phoebe

(Sayornis nigricans)
Black Phoebe
A Black Phoebe at Rob Hill Campground.
Will Elder, NPS

Natural History: The Black Phoebe eats insects, then regurgitates pellets. It takes cover in riparian vegetation, nesting in cliffs, buildings, bridges, and other shelters near water. It constructs its nests out of mud and plants. Nesting season is from March to August.

General Distribution: In the Presidio, this species can be found around streams, springs, ponds, willow forests, ornamentals, buildings, and on telephone poles. It breeds within the Presidio grounds.

Frequency: This species is common all year.

Identifying Characteristics: The Black Phoebe has a black head, breast, and upper portion, and a contrasting white belly. It has a tendency to wag its tail and a distinct song of a strident fi-bee (rise), fi-bee (fall).

Presidio Birds main page

Did You Know?

Grave marker in the Presidio pet cemetery

Though the majority of animals buried in the Presidio pet cemetery are dogs and cats, there are also parakeets, canaries, pigeons, macaws, rabbits, hamsters, rats, lizards, goldfish, and mice.