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Hi!

Sadly, I don’t know much about birds.

I tried to determine the bird in the attached picture. I think it’s a flycatcher or maybe a kingbird, but I’m not sure. I’d really like to know the species, though.

This bird piqued my curiosity because it WAS NOT AFRAID of my man and me. It hovered near us multiple times and followed us along a paved walking trail for probably a good quarter mile (I think another walker traveling in the opposite direction of us probably caught its attention).

My best guess for catching this bird’s attention is that we must have accidentally and unwittingly gotten too close to its nest. I first noticed it hover near my man’s back as he made his way down a well-traveled foot path to a creek bank (off of the paved walking path). It didn’t dive-bomb us or peck at us. It primarily stalked us, which is not anything I’ve ever seen before from a bird.

We really didn’t mean to pester the bird. We recognize we were in its area. But we were perplexed and, frankly, fascinated by this bird that had little to no fear of us. I assumed when we first started walking away from it, that would be the end of things. Nope. It was pretty persistent. We started to wonder if it would follow us all the way to our car.

DETAILS

Location: Twin Creeks hiking trail, Cedar Park, Texas (a northwestern suburb of Austin, on the eastern edge of the Texas Hill Country)

The trail runs along a creek with water. The area is wooded (mesquite, live oak, Ashe juniper, some maples), but also very close to a golf course and near at least two subdivisions. 

Date/Time: Sunday, 27 September 2020, 6:45 pm CDT

Weather: Mid-to-lower 70s, partly cloudy

Thank you all for any assistance you might provide. 🙂

858F56D0-8D47-428B-B4B4-276DCEE969F3.jpeg

Edited by Cover Stealing Badger
Grammar edits; expression of thanks for any assistance
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Interesting behavior.  I have heard of hawks (Sharp-shinned and Cooper's) following walkers and joggers because they have learned that small birds can be flushed by these people.  I've never heard of other birds learning this behavior, but certainly humans could be expected to stir up the local bug population, and I can imagine a phoebe taking advantage of that.

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One will follow our llamas some times.

They are one of my favorite birds, which is convenient because they nest on my house every year. Four pairs nested on our house this year. And when they all have two or three broods it adds up to a lot of Phoebes! 

Edited by Kevin
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16 hours ago, JP48 said:

I've never heard of other birds learning this behavior, but certainly humans could be expected to stir up the local bug population, and I can imagine a phoebe taking advantage of that.

Good point, particularly considering the time of the interaction, which was about 40 minutes before sunset. The mosquitoes found me at least three times, so the bird might have been looking for the mosquitoes that we were likely attracting.

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Maybe they do this all the time and I just now realized but yesterday evening I was followed  by a Phoebe! I was walking threw some tall grass and stirring up lots of bugs and this one Phoebe kept chasing some bug I disrupted. I find it strange I have never noticed this, I guess I'm so used to phoebes being every where I never realized that one might be following me.

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