Say’s Phoebe on a Wire

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Say’s Phoebe is a species in the flycatcher family. It’s native to the western United States and much of Mexico and is a year-round resident of southern Arizona. However, I see many more of these birds in the winter months than in summer. I believe that our year-round population likely is augmented by winter migrants from more northern latitudes.

I find Say’s Phoebe to be difficult to photograph because it is both peripatetic and sensitive to humans’ presence. I’ll see a phoebe on a perch and it seems invariably to jump before I can train my lens on it. Yesterday, however, I was fortunate and captured this individual as it perched on a wire.

Say’s Phoebes are birds of open country. In southern Arizona they prefer grasslands and cultivated fields. I photographed this phoebe in the farmlands northwest of Tucson. The species is closely related to Vermilion Flycatchers. Say’s Phoebe is a bit larger than its Vermilion cousin and lacks the Vermilion’s brilliant plumage. I find this bird to be subtly beautiful with its gray-brown, white and orange plumage.

Image made with a Canon R5, Canon EF 400mm f4 DO II lens+Canon EF 1.4x telextender, M setting (auto ISO), ISO 1000, f5.6 @ 1/4000, +1 1/3 stops exposure compensation.

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