Phoebe Diary

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I spotted an eastern phoebe carrying nesting material into the barn on March 30.

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The female built her nest over the only light in that side of the barn.  She built it with mud and moss, and lined it with grasses, hair and feathers.

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They perch different places around the yard where they have good vantage point for hawking insects.

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The barn faces the west. So, that makes taking pictures of the nest better in the evening.

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The flash didn’t work for pictures inside the nest. I couldn’t see where to aim the camera for the best pictures. This picture was taken on May 1st.

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Then I figured out how to get relatively decent pictures on May 3rd. I set the camera for low light and used a small flashlight. The pictures didn’t work until I stood with my left foot on the axil and my right foot on the tire.

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I aimed the flashlight in the direction that looked best, zoomed the lens in and snapped pictures. Obviously, this isn’t the best picture, but under these conditions …..

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The pictures improved after a little practice.

IMG_8626 redI like this one with the grayish beak of the one and a featherless wing in the lower right.

IMG_8623 redI suspect the whitish shape in the right side of the nest is a fecal sac.  It has a mucous membrane that surrounds the feces. They’re usually carried off by the parents. I’ve watched birds fly over the yard and drop a fecal sac.


13 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Margaret Collins on May 8, 2013 at 6:45 am

    Just amazing pictures.



  2. Posted by Therese on May 8, 2013 at 9:31 am

    Oh Kathy! So cool! Those little downy beings!


  3. Great photos. Your barn is going to be a busy place soon.


    • I took more pictures for another blog in a few days. At least the parents are tolerant of my short daily trip in. From what I read they might use the nest again this summer. My fingers are crossed.


  4. What fun to follow their development.


  5. Whoa! Watch your footing taking pictures…!!! Well done, for the sake of science and the rest of us.


  6. Precious. Hope you’ll share some shots when they fledge!


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