Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Say's Phoebe, Loggerhead Shrike

The golden, dry vegetation of the Southwest compliments a Say's Phoebe's own coloration, as this phoebe braces into a whipping wind.  A small, slender songbird, common in the West from Northern Alaska to Southern Mexico, the Say's Phoebe is comfortable around people. This one had his eyes fixed on a prize.

At the leading edge of a Catalina Mountain stream, insects scurry to get out of the way of the slowly advancing water. That's where the Say's Phoebe stakes out a hunting ground.

Flying at the water's edge, it is only a matter of time for an insect to reveal itself.

Flying insects and small crustaceans make up his diet. The Say's Phoebe can hover in place to pluck insects from vegetation or snatch them in the air.

This Loggerhead Shrike interrupted the phoebe's meal with a half-hearted attack, but they are not real enemies.

The Loggerhead Shrike is only slightly larger. The shrike managed to chase the phoebe off his perch, but not far away.

The two maintained an agreed upon margin of separation, as they worked the same leading edge of the river.

The Say's Phoebe is a bird that says,
"Come take notice of me.  I'm a slender, cinnamon songbird, approachable and colorful."

Good advice!


Cornell Lab of Ornithology, All About Birds

The Sibley Guide to Birds