Yosemite Hikes Home » Outside Yosemite » Merced National Wildlife Refuge » Black Phoebe
Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans) at the Merced National Wildlife Refuge

Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans)

Black Phoebes have a remarkable affinity for perching on posts, which are apparently just the right height for the spying out and capturing of insects, their favorite activity. And perhaps one that we should adopt, as well: just think what kind of shape you'd be in if you spent your time leaping off objects to snare insects instead of reading things on screens. Humanity has grown soft since branching off the Chordata phylum, this much is certain.

Black Phoebes are common at the Merced Refuge, which provides the phoebe trifecta of bugs, nest-building mud, and stuff to perch upon in ample amounts. I can't remember a time I've visited the refuge without encountering a Black Phoebe occupying one of the fenceposts on the path up to the main viewing platform.