top of page

Say's Phoebe

Scientific Name:

Sayornis saya




Drier, even sparse grasslands and scrubland areas


Throughout Western North America, from Central Mexico to the Arctic


Least Concern (IUCN Red List)

This species is


to the Truckee Meadows.


Say’s Phoebe is considered a smaller bird with a longer tail, with a gray-brown upper body and a pale yellow-orange belly. The gray head feathers of this Phoebe can either lay flat along their head or form a peak. Say’s Phoebe can be observed waiting for prey closer to the ground on lower branches and rocks. This bird will drop to the ground to capture food. In areas where there is little brush or boulders, Say’s Phoebe can be observed hovering over the ground waiting for food.

Fast Facts:

  • Say’s Phoebe is considered a "flycatcher". They eat mostly insects and will even eat wasps and spiders.

  • Say’s Phoebe fossils going back to 400,000 years ago have been found in California, Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico.

  • Say’s Phoebe nesting sites range from Mexico to the tundra of Alaska and Canada.

  • Say’s Phoebe Spanish name is Mosquero Llanero.

  • Say’s Phoebe has been observed in most parks in the Truckee Meadows, especially during breeding season.



Caron Tayloe (research & content)

Rachel Carroll (edits & page design)

Last Updated:

March 27, 2024 at 1:48:22 AM

bottom of page