SAY PHOEBE. Sayornis sayus (Bonaparte)
little larger than Junco or Linnet; tail long, as long as body.
Coloration ashy brown; tail blackish; belly pale cinnamon. Makes
frequent changes of position and flies out after passing insects.
Voice: A plaintive, protracted pee-ur, the two syllables
being scarcely distinguishable.
visitant to open country in vicinity of Lagrange and Snelling. Recorded
also 10 miles east of Coulterville, March 20, 1916. Visits vicinity of
Mono Lake after the nesting season. Perches on rocks or fences, or on
bare twigs of low bushes.
The Say Phoebe is a flycatcher of desert
predilections, and hence not likely to come to the attention of the
average Yosemite visitor. In winter it is found on the San Joaquin
plains and about the rocky outcrops and earth bluffs of the western
foothills. From late June until September or later, in the dispersal
which follows the breeding season, it invades the territory about Mono
Lake. Near Walker Lake on September 14, 1915, 6 of these birds were seen
in a 3-1/2-hour census. Each individual was by itself, perched on some
dead twig affording a good view over the general level of the
surrounding sagebrush, from which the bird could dart out after passing