A male Phainopepla perches on the top branch of a thorny, desert tree.
Behind the lens.
I can't think of another bird that is so closely tied to one plant species as the Phainopepla. They feed primarily on the sticky, red berries of the desert mistletoe. Most of the mistletoe seeds pass through the birds unharmed and are dropped onto new branches (as illustrated here). In this way, the birds unwittingly planting food for future generations of Phainopeplas.
Phainopeplabirddesert mistletoeArizonaJohn Ashley