Posts Tagged ‘nest’

Return of the Eastern Phoebe


I took a break before starting supper and went out in the yard to listen for birds. There should be several species migrating. A phoebe (a flycatcher) repeated its name from a perch I couldn’t find in the catalpa.


The phoebe flew to the trees by the barn.


They were still almost impossible to find in all the foliage.


And then …. and then …. one phoebe landed on the edge of the barn roof. Its song was a rendition of “fee bee, fee bay.


They nested in the barn three years ago. The nest was in a convenient place on the side of a rafter where I could take pictures of the young ones.

My fingers are crossed, hoping they will nest here again.

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I took this picture in 2013.


Carpenter Bees

Buffy and I walked a loop around the yard before we went inside. The sun was near setting.


Carpenter bees were busy. I wasn’t sure if were looking for something or doing it.

The barn was built when the original house was here. We’ve lived here forty-plus years, and it was old when we bought the house.

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Carpenter bees are often confused with bumblebees. Both are about the same size. Carpenter bees build their nest in wood, and bumblebees nest underground. Male carpenter bees have a whitish spot on the front of their face, which wasn’t evident in the evening light.

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Carpenter bees are not social insects. They construct their nests in trees or in eaves of a house by drilling in the wood. These are the adults emerging from the nests. They overwintered in tunnels as adults.


 The barn sure has a lot of character. Besides the foxes living under it, a pair of eastern phoebe flycatchers nest in it too.

Surprise … a Pair of Bluebirds

Buffy and I headed out for a loop walk while the sun still covered most of the backyard.


A female eastern bluebird blended in quite well with the drab barn wood.


The male bluebird perched on the platform where the foxes bask in the sun.


She seemed to be keeping a wary eye on me. Birds generally aren’t this tolerant


I wondered about her thoughts with that glaring stare.


He knew just where to perch for maximum effectiveness in the evening sun.

 The eastern bluebirds arrive in southern Illinois during March into April. I hope they decide to stay and nest in the yard.  Of course we need to have a cavity that fits their specifications.

A Little-Known Bird Fact


I came across these blue jay feathers on a short hike recently.

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They reminded me of the robin that nested near where I often sat under the catalpa tree in our backyard last summer.

This reminded me of all the years I worked with kids — Girl Scout leader 9 years, gave programs at schools and science fairs. Not to mention all the years my kids and I hiked and camped often … real often.


Teachers often mentioned taking bird nests to school to show their class.


The point of all this is …

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 makes it illegal to possess live native birds, bird feathers, nests and eggs. This also includes road-kills.

 Legally taken game birds, like ducks, dove, geese are an exception during their hunting season.

A Spider Hiding

I’m not sure of  the spider terminology involved in this web.


A spider constructed a rolled or curved-leaf web. It looked to be a two-room nest. You can see the end of its abdomen in the lower part of the left slit. It looked to be either a two-room nest or a hall-like structure.


The backside had a completely different appearance, with no escape possible.


I think it got tired of me and went lower in the web to hide in this last picture.

Brown Thasher

Buffy and I often make a morning loop walk around the back back of our 2-acre yard. This morning we rounded the corner of the house. Buffy took off full speed for the groundhog eating its breakfast. As usual, it made it under the barn before Buffy got down there.

It wasn’t long before I spotted two young rabbits feeding back near the shrub border. They saw us and hopped into the thick of things.

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A brown thrasher stayed ahead of us, sometimes on the ground and others low in the shrub border.

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They usually stay hidden in thick vegetation, not leading humans on their walk around the backyard.

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Brown thrashers nest up to 4 feet above the ground, and occasionally on the ground.  My impression was that it was leading me away from its nest in my attempt to get pictures of it.

A brown thrasher’s song impersonates other bird songs. They repeat each note/phrase two times, not a varying number like mockingbirds do.

Robin Nest

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A tangle of honeysuckle vines concealed the robin nest.