Say’s Phoebe On Water

Neither the Cornell bird lab website nor the Audubon website describe the Say’s Phoebe as hunting over water.  Wikipedia is more on point; it writes: “The Say’s phoebe also likes to feed just above the water’s surface.”  This particular bird takes water hunting a step farther.  It doesn’t just snatch an insect a few inches over the surface.  It plunges right in.  It submerges itself up to its neck.  Then, with a few powerful wing strokes, it rises again and flies off to land to rest for a moment.  The slow-motion video just below could be sharper but it serves as a document of this bird’s versatility and fearlessness.  This is not a water bird and isn’t equipped in any way for swimming.  The second video below shows the bird just before its water adventure and then shows the plunge at normal speed.

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