What is a PhainopeplaWe saw several of these when we camp at the Valley of Fire Group Campground. They would hang in the trees and then fly into the rocks, where we assume they have built their nests.
OverviewThe phainopepla or northern phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens) is the most northerly representative of the mainly tropical Central American family Ptiliogonatidae, the silky flycatchers. Its name is from the Greek phain pepla meaning “shining robe” in reference to the male’s plumage. Phainopeplas have been found to imitate the calls of twelve other species, such as the red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) and the northern flicker (Colaptes auratus).
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Aves
- Order: Passeriformes
- Family: Ptiliogonatidae
- Genus: Phainopepla S.F. Baird, 1858
- Species: P. nitens