• Saguaro Blooms Upclose

    Saguaro

    National Park Arizona

Phainopepla

Phainopepla

NPS

Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens)

The phainopepla belongs to a small group of birds known as the silky flycatchers, but they are not related to true flycatchers. Their diet is primarily desert mistletoe. It disperses mistletoe seeds to host plants as the seeds pass through the birds’ digestive system.

The male is shiny and black with a crest and bright red eyes, while the female is gray and also has red eyes.

Length: 7.75 in. Wingspan: 11 in.

Diet: Berries (especially mistletoe) and insects

Did You Know?

Snow on the spines of a Saguaro Cactus

Even though the Sonoran Desert is known as very hot and dry place, snow sometimes falls and accumulates on the desert floor of Saguaro National Park. When it does it turns the desert into a winter wonderland. More...