Say’s Phoebe

Sayornis saya

The Say’s Phoebe is a year-round resident in San Diego and most of the southwestern USA and central Mexico, but they breed in spring and summer throughout the western USA, even north to the Canadian Yukon and Alaska’s Bering Sea and Arctic shores in summer. No other members of the flycatcher clan breed as far north as the Say’s Phoebe. These birds are at home in desolate places and areas of low brush and grasslands.

Catching a photo of a small passerine in flight is a tricky proposition. In most cases it is unpredictable when they will launch, and what trajectory they will take. Flycatchers, such as the Say’s Phoebe, sometimes give clues I’ve been able to exploit and overcome this obstacle. Often these birds will find a favorite perch and make repeated flights to snag some unfortunate winged prey, then fly back to the same place from where they launched. Though still challenging, by knowing this behaviour, I can better predict a launch or a landing and capture an image of the airborne bird.

Click map markers to reveal further information