Sayornis nigricans semiatra
Status: Accidental in spring.
Taxonomy: There are six subspecies, two of which occur in South American and may be a separate species, White-winged Phoebe, and four in central America and Mexico, only one of which occurs north of Mexico, S. n. semiatra. The Nebraska record is presumed semiatra.
Record: One was found at Morrill Sandpits, Scotts Bluff Co 26 Apr 2020 by Tony Leukering (https://ebird.org/checklist/S67853480) and seen that afternoon by Kathy DeLara (https://ebird.org/checklist/S67863132). Both observers filed photographs of the bird. It was not re-found subsequently.
Comments: This species occurs in the southwestern United States, extending north in the Rocky Mountains to south-central and southwest Colorado. There are numerous records on the Front Range of Colorado, north to the Fort Collins area. Apart from a remarkable record of one in New Jersey 4-18 Jan 2019 (eBird.org), there are only five records north of the Arkansas River and east of the Colorado Front Range (eBird.org). The only fall record is for Lincoln Co, Colorado 2-21 Sep 2018. Elsewhere, one was in southeastern Wyoming 5 Apr 2018, singles were in Yuma and Washington Cos, Colorado 12 Jun 1988 and 20 May 2010 respectively, and, interestingly, one in Morton Co, Kansas 5-11 Apr 2020. Thus the Nebraska record is the sixth in this group, four of which were in the last 3 years (2018-2020).
Photograph (top) of a Black Phoebe at Morrill Sandpits, Scotts Bluff Co 26 Apr 2020 by Kathy DeLara.
Silcock, W.R., and J.G. Jorgensen. 2018. Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans), Version 1.0. In Birds of Nebraska — Online. www.BirdsofNebraska.org