This Black Phoebe took a few moments’ rest from its insect-hunting labors by the water’s edge and gave this photographer a chance to film a few seconds of its handsome countenance turning this way and that. In the early morning sun, its black tuxedo shines auburn with highlights of red.
This bird is in no way equipped to handle water. It has no webs on its feet and hasn’t been observed swimming. It doesn’t have the beak of a raptor. Nevertheless, it’s been seen diving into water and snatching minnows to feed its hatchlings. I’ve not seen the Black Phoebe do that, but I got lucky last year and filmed its cousin, Say’s Phoebe. on a water dive. Mostly, a phoebe eats flying insects. It perches on an overlook and launches itself on a short flight to catch them midair. The bird has to have fabulous eyesight and precision maneuverability to make its living that way.