Phainopepla

1/1250s at f8.0, ISO:500, Canon EOS-1D X w/800mm, x1.4 converter


The phainopepla is the most northerly representative of the mainly tropical Central American family Ptiliogonatidae, the silky flycatchers. Their diets consist of berries, any small insects, fruits, and vegetables. Phainopepla have a specialized mechanism in their gizzard that shucks berry skins off the fruit and packs the skins separately from the rest of the fruit into the intestines for more efficient digestion. So far this is the only known bird able to do this. They appear to relish the fruit of Phoradendron californicum, the desert mistletoe. It nests in the spring. The eggs are gray or pink and speckled, and the incubation, done by both the male and female, takes fifteen days. The parents for up to nineteen more days will rear the young.
Lost Dutchman State Park. AZ
 
03/04/2016