Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans)

Order: Passeriformes | Family: Tyrannidae | IUCN Status: Least Concern

Age: Adult | Sex: Unknown | Loc. Laquipampa, Lambayeque

Age: Adult | Sex: Unknown | Loc. Chongoyape, Lambayeque

Age: Adult | Sex: Unknown | Loc. Jaen|Lima

Age: Adult | Sex: Unknown | Loc. Manu Road, Cuzco

Identification & Behavior: ~17.5 cm (6.8 in). The Black Phoebe is all black or blackish with the wing coverts and flight feathers broadly edged with white. The center of the belly is white. The outer tail feathers have white webbing showing flashes of white when the bird flies. It forages on fast flowing streams with plenty of rocks to perch on. The black and white plumage superficially resembles that of a White-capped Dipper which forages at largely the same habitat. Also, see Torrent Tyrannulet.

Status: The Black Phoebe is common on both the east and west slopes of the Andes. It also occurs in Co, Ec, and Bo.

Name in Spanish: Mosquero de Agua.

Sub-species: Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans angustirostris), Berlepsch and Stolzmann, 1896.

Meaning of Name: Sayornis: In honor of Thomas Say (1787-1834) US entomologist, first Secretary of Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia 1812, naturalist on Long’s expeditions to the Rocky Mts. 1819-1820, 1823. nigricans: L. niger= black, nigricans, nigricantis= blackish, swarthy.

See more of the Family Tyrannidae  peru aves

Distribution Map


    • Species range based on: Schulenberg, T. S., D. F. Stotz, and L. Rico. 2006. Distribution maps of the birds of Peru, version 1.0. Environment, Culture & Conservation (ECCo). The Field Museum. on 03/01/2017.