• Skip to Content
  • Skip to Main Navigation
  • Skip to Local Navigation
  • Skip to Search
  • Skip to Sitemap
  • Skip to Footer
Help develop a Bird ID tool!

Say's Phoebe

Sayornis saya ORDER: PASSERIFORMES FAMILY: TYRANNIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

Like other phoebes, the rusty-bellied Say's Phoebe is common around people, often nesting on buildings. A bird of open country, it is found from Alaska through Mexico.

2014 FestivalSponsored Ad
Laredo CVBSponsored Ad

At a GlanceHelp

Measurements
Both Sexes
Length
6.7 in
17 cm
Weight
0.7–0.8 oz
21–22 g
Other Names
  • Moucherolle à ventre roux (French)
  • Papamoscas ilanero (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • The Say's Phoebe breeds farther north than any other flycatcher, seemingly limited only by the lack of nest sites. It breeds north past tree line, and may be following the Alaska pipeline even farther north, nesting on the pipeline itself.

Habitat


Grassland

Open country, sagebrush, badlands, dry barren foothills, canyons, borders of deserts, and ranches. Often around buildings. Avoids watercourses and heavy forest.

Food


Insects

Flying and terrestrial insects.

Nesting

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size
3–7 eggs
Egg Description
White, sometimes with reddish spots.
Condition at Hatching
Helpless with sparse down.
Nest Description

Nest an open cup of rocks, weed stems, grass, plant fibers, spider webs and other items, lined with hair, fibers, paper, or feathers. Placed on ledge with cover, such as in a cave, or on a building or bridge.

Nest Placement

Building

Behavior


Flycatching

Flies from perch near ground and pursues flying insects. Also hovers and gleans insects off of vegetation.

Conservation

status via IUCN

Least Concern

Say's Phoebe has benefited from use of human-made structures for nest sites.

Credits

  • Schukman, J. M., and B. O. Wolf. 1998. Say's Phoebe (Sayornis saya). In The Birds of North America, No. 374 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.

Range Map Help

Say
View dynamic map of eBird sightings