Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

December 10, 2009

Say’s Phoebe on a Post

Filed under: behavior, Birds, composition, favorite places, Gilbert Water Ranch — richditch @ 4:13 pm
Say's Phoebe

Say's Phoebe

A lot of nature photographer’s avoid showing the “hand of man” in their photos, and would pass by this Say’s Phoebe because of the manmade post it is perched upon. But my “philosophy of photography” isn’t so strict: I figure if the bird has no objections to this perch then I should be a bit more open minded about it as well. I’m more concerned about the visual properties of the post that I am about the origin of the post.

This phoebe is pretty reliable on this post at the Water Ranch in Gilbert, AZ, as may be seen be the bird guano visible on the top and sides of it. The phoebe prefers this spot over the mesquite tree a couple feet away, although the bird will occasionally fly over to a branch of the mesquite if a jogger or dog walker along the path is too fast, too loud, or too close.

I was able to get very close the other day, and even was able to collapse the legs of my tripod for a lower viewpoint while I sat down along the path. The phoebe would make short sorties after insects but then return to the post. For some shots I was so close that I had to exclude part of the tail from the frame, but I prefer these full bird compositions to those close ups. I took many frames to assure I’d get a good catchlight in the eye.

Other views of Water Ranch flycatchers on posts can be seen in this previous post.

12/03/09, Nikon D200, 300/2.8 plus TC20E (2x), Gitzo G1325 tripod with RRS BH-55 head and Sidekick, ISO 400, 1/500th second at f/10.



  1. Very nice photo of an oft overlooked bird. Nothing wrong with its perch, either.

    Comment by Bosque Bill — December 11, 2009 @ 12:37 pm

  2. Always amazed by your pictures!

    Comment by Thérèse — December 13, 2009 @ 1:55 pm

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