The Phainopepla is a wonderful bird despite it's rather dull coloring. The male is all black and the female is a dull gray. The male is blessed with a beautiful, ragged crest that is more often not, at full display.
Their diet consists of berries, any small insects, fruits, vegetables. Phainopepla 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. So far this is the only known bird able to do this.
While the population is a migratory species, the birds of the Mexican Baja are a permeant, breeding population.
They tend to live in very hot dry areas, from Arizona, New Mexico south.