Black Phoebe, Gilbert AZ

I have complained before in these pages about small birds and their disobliging tendency to move mid-photo or to take off entirely.

But if you take enough photos, some of them work out.  This was taken in a target-rich environment: the Water Ranch in Gilbert.  Processed wastewater that is just shy of being potable is pumped into ponds and then filters down into the aquifer.  While it’s still on the surface, it attracts birds of all shapes and sizes.

For this one, I had to get help with the identification.  The (early morning?) fluffiness – a bad feather day? – flummoxed me, for sure.  Black Phoebe was what the experts settled on, and that’s likely right.  It looks more like an Eastern Phoebe to me, but Gilbert is well out of that bird’s range.

Fluffed-up black phoebe on bare tree branches.



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