Date: 4/15/17 8:32 pm
From: Peter Burke <peterburke...>
Subject: [cobirds] Re: Phoebes near Hygiene, Boulder Co
As Peter Gent described, we had quite the phoebe show up in NE Boulder
County, with Say's, Eastern and a third individual. I've posted photos of
the two Eastern Phoebes and several shots of the other guy
<>, which may be a light male Black
Phoebe, or potentially a hybrid Black X Eastern Phoebe. Things that made us
consider a hybrid include the light color of bird's head -- not the jet
black of a typical male Black Phoebe. There was also a faint suggestion of
some white or at least light coloring near the throat. And most
interestingly, the bird was initially singing the one-note song of a Black
Phoebe, but later was observed attempting the two-note Eastern Phoebe song.

I'd be very interested to learn what others make of this bird.

Good birding,
Peter Burke
Boulder, Colorado

Peter Burke

935 11th St. Boulder, CO 80302

(973) 214-0140

Flickr <> LinkedIn

On Sat, Apr 15, 2017 at 1:15 PM, Peter Gent <gent...> wrote:

> All,
> We spent over an hour this morning at the bridge over St. Vrain Creek on
> Crane Hollow Road, which is about 1/2 mile west of Hygiene in north Boulder
> County. When we arrived, 2 Phoebes were there. There was an Eastern Phoebe
> which was frequently going under the bridge, so we presumed this is a
> female building a nest. Every time she flew, she was chased by another
> Phoebe, which we presumed was a male. This bird has the plumage pattern of
> a Black Phoebe, but the dark areas are not as black as a usual Black
> Phoebe, but it called a single note Black Phoebe call. We are unsure
> whether this is an unusual plumaged Black Phoebe or, more likely in our
> opinion, a hybrid Black/Eastern. After we had been there about half an
> hour, we first heard the usual two note Eastern Phoebe song, and then saw
> east of the bridge an Eastern Phoebe making this song. We believe only the
> males sing, and so presumed this is a male Eastern Phoebe. Our conclusion
> is there are 3 Phoebes there: a pair of Easterns plus a hybrid male
> Eastern/Black Phoebe, which could possibly be an unusual Black Phoebe.
> This situation is very similar to when the Black Phoebe first showed up at
> the 75th Street bridge over Boulder Creek. There was a pair of Eastern
> Phoebes already established there, and the Black Phoebe chased the presumed
> female Eastern Phoebe all the time. The Black Phoebe has been there last
> spring and this spring, but there have been no Eastern Phoebes there, and
> we presume they got fed up with the Black Phoebe intrusive behavior and
> moved to a new location.
> Some photos of these birds are attached.
> Peter Gent and Peter Burke,
> Boulder County.

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