There was a chance for some sun poking through the clouds yesterday and I simply had to get out into the field, I was having withdrawals because of the recent cloudy and rainy weather keeping me at home. So I went out to nearby Antelope Island State Park hoping for a few birds and some light, I found a few birds and found less light than I had hoped for. But I am glad that I went even out for a few hours.
I photographed a nest building Say’s Phoebe trying to separate a clump of grass and mud, or perhaps bison manure, by holding it in its bill and beating it on the ground. The light wasn’t great but the nesting behavior of the phoebe was interesting. I wish the light had been brighter to help make the cinnamon color of the phoebe’s belly and underparts pop more.
Say’s Phoebes breed further north than any other flycatcher species in North America and it is possible that they are expanding their breeding range further north. Here in Utah they can have more than one brood, possibly as many as three broods a season. They lay 3 to 7 eggs which hatch in 12 to 14 days, the female incubates.
Say’s Phoebes are birds of open country that includes sagebrush steppe, dry foothills, canyons, deserts and can often be found near ranches. They do take advantage of man made structures to build their nests under the eaves and in abandoned buildings.
I don’t have many opportunities to photograph Say’s Phoebes and I am always excited when I see one through my viewfinder.
Life is good.