Friday, February 17, 2006

Phainopepla - backyard visitor

I wrote about the Phainopepla, (Phainopepla nitens) one of my favourite Sonoran Desert birds, in an earlier post. While the Abert's Towhees were visiting our back yard on Tuesday, I spotted a male Phainopepla high in a mesquite.

Much to my surprise and delight, he flew down and joined the towhees on the pomegranate for a few minutes.

Here you can see his red iris and the white patches
on the underside of his wings as he was taking off


T. Beth said...

Nitens, from their scientific name, means "shining" in Latin, and the males do have lovely, shiny black plumage. This can really be seen in your last photo of the male Phainopepla in flight.

Pam in Tucson said...

French name for this bird is
Phénopèple luisant - luisant also means "shining."