Wild Birds

Black-and-yellow Silky-flycatchers

Black-and-yellow Silky-flycatchers


The Black-and-yellow Silky-flycatchers (Phainoptila melanoxantha) occur naturally in Central America.

Like the other members of its Phainopeplas family, these birds can imitate the calls of twelve other species, including the calls of the Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo lineatus), and the Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus).

Distribution / Range

The Black and Yellow Silky-flycatchers are found in Costa Rica and Panama, where it inhabits subtropical or tropical moist montane forests.


They mostly feed on berries, small insects, fruits, and vegetables.

Like the other members of its family, they have a specialized mechanism in their gizzard that shucks berry skins off the fruit and packs the skins separately from the rest of the fruit into the intestines for more efficient digestion. No other bird family is known to be able to do that.


They nest in the spring. The grey and pink speckled eggs are incubated for about 15 days by both the male and female.

The chicks are raised by the parents for nineteen days.


Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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