Wednesday, April 11, 2018


A fairly frequent visitor to Catalyst's Watering Hole could be mistaken for a robin.

But his rosy-hued breast is not nearly as bright as a robin's.

And he's a tad smaller than those big bullies.

Searching Sibley's "Birds of the Arizona Central Highlands I have identified him as a Say's Phoebe.

He's quite a thirsty fellow and when he visits spends quite a well either at the fountain or pecking around for insects in the yard.

He was named after Thomas Say, a 19th Century naturalist who was born into a Quaker family in Pennsylvania.

Say spent time in the offshore islands of Georgia and Florida, and on exploratory missions to the Rocky Mountains and the tributaries of the Missouri River.

He married and lived in the utopian society of New Harmony, Indiana, where he died at the age of 47, apparently of typhoid fever.

But the bird named after him lives on.

Say's Phoebe.


  1. You don't Say!

    Remember reading about Thomas Say at New Harmony.
    I guess you are of the same mind as Dave Letterman who calls the Cardinal the roughest bird in the Robin Class.
    Real bullies, huh?

  2. That is a new one for me! The robins are back here now but are very puffed up since it has been a bit cool!

  3. Is he the brownish-gray color of a robin's back, or does he have a blue tinge to his feathers? That birdbath is tricking me.

    1. Val, it's like the robin. No blue except on the birdbath.