As a beginning birder in Arizona several years ago, I recall seeing a strange bird in the neighborhood with a mud nest on the porch of a home. I took the photo below with a point and shoot camera and puzzled over it for some time. I finally sent it to the AZ-NM listserv to ask for i.d. help. Kind of embarrassing as I look back on that, but I was an enthusiastic beginner and the couple of people that replied were very nice and helpful.
As I studied some of the eBird data related to the Say's Phoebe, it seems that they winter in the American Southwest and well into Mexico. They are one of the first species to migrate northward in mid-winter taking advantage of those days that warm up just enough for bugs to hatch or come out of hibernation. Hence, they are my harbinger of spring. Late winter and early Spring in Idaho can be brutal as weather fluctuates in the extreme...one day a freezing blizzard, the next day a sunny 60 degrees. Looking at the eBird map below, I'm pretty impressed that Say's Phoebes are found far into the arctic north. "Got bugs? Will handle cold snaps." seems to read their travel papers. What hardy little birds!
Upon arrival here in Idaho, they quickly they pair up. Flycatching near one another and soon building a nest together.
I've discovered Say's Phoebe's nests in random places. Pictured below is a nest made inside a large storm water drain with iron bars covering it. I've seen mud nests on many a flat surface of homes in both Idaho and Arizona.
(Top two images digiscoped with a Swarovski ATX spotting scope and iPhone 4s)