The Santa Cruz Bird Club has field trips most Fridays and this week it was to Natural Bridges State Beach. Summer means fog and that's what we had with just about 10 minutes of diffused light as the fog broke around 10 am. This week's photo was of an immature Black Phoebe doing a number on a Jerusalem cricket. Sometimes a single shot doesn't capture the moment, that's when a series can help complete the story as in this series. Since it was early and with the fog I had to max out the ISO to 1600, set the aperture wide open f/4.8, and a relatively low shutter speed of 1/640s. The photo of the week is the third in the series and I didn't even know what she was doing until I got home.
Within the Bird Club there is a running joke that the walk isn't over until we see a Black Phoebe. We saw one right at the start of the walk: walk over. The phoebe genus, Sayornis, is in the tyrant flycatcher family. The flycatcher is the largest family of birds with over 400 known species. George Robert Gray of the British Museum, named the genus after Thomas Say, an American naturalist. The species name, nigricans, is Latin for "blackish", and was named by William John Swainson in 1827.
There are six subspecies, but there are two groups which are sometimes considered to be separate species: In Santa Cruz the nigricans group (black phoebe) and the latirostris group (white-winged phoebe) can be found in Argentina.
Your comments are welcomed and if you have any questions about the photo or any other questions leave me a message.