They’re Nesting in the Barn

They, meaning eastern phoebes, were carrying nesting material into the barn to build their nest during the afternoon of March 28.

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Please excuse the quality of these pictures. I had to sit in the truck, 35 yards away and take them through the windshield.

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 Eastern phoebes are a flycatcher. Early ones began returning to southern Illinois in late February.

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This phoebe landed in the catalpa tree. Apparently, it’s a good place for hawking insects. It flew with its prey into the back of the barn.

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Phoebe’s nest in niches of cliffs, banks beneath bridges, in culverts, and in this case, over the light in our barn. They build the nest with mud pellets, plant fibers, moss, and line it with hair, feathers and grass.

The female lays 4-5 eggs. The eggs are usually white; some may have small brown spots. The eggs are incubated 16 days, and the young fledge in 15-16 days. Their diet consists of mostly of flying insects. I hope the pair use the nest for a second brood.


6 responses to this post.

  1. I saw a few of these flitting around the cattails at a pond the other day. It will be fun watching the young hatch.


  2. No apologies needed. Really good windshield shots!


  3. Posted by Therese on April 21, 2013 at 1:23 am

    Great pictures, even from a truck! They are so cute! I liked the one sitting in the tree. When I glanced at the nest, it almost looked like it was in a tea kettle.


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