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Trailside Naturalist – Phainopepla and Mistletoe at Brown’s Ranch Trailhead

Stop by anytime between 8:30 and 11:00 A.M. to learn about the mutualistic relationship between this species of silky flycatcher and hemiparasite. During the winter months, the Sonoran Desert is home to the phainopepla, a species of silky flycatcher birds that feasts on the red berries of the desert mistletoe. Mistletoe is a hemiparasite which grows most commonly in mesquite, ironwood or palo verde trees in the Preserve. It is dependent on the phainopepla to distribute it’s seeds on the branches where it roosts. These two need each other and have a mutualistic relationship that is fascinating to learn about.

Location: Brown’s Ranch Trailhead – 30301 N. Alma School Rd. Scottsdale, AZ 85262

Time: ~2.5 hours

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