Posted by: DarkEyedJunc0 | August 15, 2012

Ode to Phainopepla

One hot day,

it has been heard

There was a bird,

along the way!

Striking and dark,

sitting near the park!

Beauty so plain,

like sudden summer rain.

I never knew you existed,

but now, you are “listed.”

Oh  my fair Phainopepla,

I’m so happy that I met’cha!


On our trip to California, I encountered a new life bird that I never knew existed. Perhaps I just skimmed over it in the field guide, assuming it must be some rarity or exotic bird that I will need to work up to.

Well into our trip, there it was, flying across the road, and then resting in a tree, providing me with great looks and a new learning experience – A BEAUTIFUL MALE PHAINOPEPLA (we did also have a female later, but the male captured my heart.)

Cornell Lab of Ornithology describes the bird as:

“A crested songbird of the deserts and arid woodlands of the southwestern United States and Mexico, the Phainopepla is unique in taxonomy, distribution, and behavior. It is particularly notable for its enigmatic pattern of breeding twice each year, in two different habitats.”

We had this bird on the road to Pinnacles National Monument (West), with great looks. Unfortunately, I did not get any good photos, as I chose to study the bird as much as I could.

This black-crested beauty intrigued me. I must admit, I have always had a soft spot in my heart for crested birds, and this one is no exception — in fact, it may be my favorite yet!

I just thought I’d spread the word about this beauty!


For resources, visit:



  1. Speaking from experience, you’re life won’t be complete until you see a Pyrrhuloxia. (The bird that should have been the mascot and namesake of the Arizona Cardinals.)

  2. Believe me, I’ve tried 🙂

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