© Wolfgang Wander/Wikimedia Commons (CC 3.0)

Say's Phoebe

Say's Phoebe
Sayornis saya
Perching Birds | Family: Tyrant Flycatchers, Tyrannidae

An estimated 5% of the species' North American population breeds within the Boreal Forest.



Although primarily insect eaters (as are all flycatchers), Say's Phoebes will eat other foods, such as berries, during long spells of cold, inclement weather, when insects are unavailable.


7-8" (18-20 cm). Dusky head, breast, and back, with darker wings and black tail. Light rust-colored belly and undertail coverts.


A mellow, whistled pee-ur with a plaintive quality.


4 or 5 white eggs in a nest of grass and wool in a sheltered, elevated, dry site on a ledge, rock wall, or building.


Plains, sparsely vegetated countryside, dry sunny locations, often near ranch houses, barns, and other buildings.


Breeds from central Alaska, Yukon, and northern Mackenzie south through western mountains to Mexico; not present west of the Cascades and Sierra Nevada except locally in south-central California and western Oregon. Winters in California and Southwest southward.