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Phainopepla nitens

The Phainopepla is considered a “Silky Flycatcher”, a group of birds typically of tropical Central America. Scientists believe these birds are more closely related to waxwings than to the flycatcher group. I’ve enjoyed meeting this bird at my Poway home in the past, but more often I meet them in the desert southwest.

Summers find many of these birds migrate into the deserts of southwestern USA and in California north as far as the lower Sacramento River Valley and the coastal slopes north of the San Francisco Bay. In Mexico they are resident in all of Baja California and from the Texas-New Mexico border south to central Mexico.

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