Friday, April 17, 2015

The Phoebes Are Moving In

A pair of Eastern Phoebes has been hanging around our house recently, and a few days ago I figured out why. They've been building a nest under the deck on the back of our house! Actually, I've read that it's the female who exclusively builds the nest, while the male accompanies her. It's a lovely little moss-and-mud structure, set on top of a light fixture:

We've been keeping our distance from our new neighbors to let them work, but I was able to pay a brief visit the other day without disrupting their routine too much. Here's (I assume) the female on a break between trips to get nesting materials, with mud on her beak:

She's found a nice spot in the yard to gather moss:

It's so cool to see this structure coming together! New material comes in by the beakful and gets nicely incorporated:

The male even flew over at one point to check on her work (or maybe to provide encouragement):

Here's a brief video of the female making her nest happen:

I think the nest's just about done now, but incubation hasn't yet started. I'm super excited to have these phoebes as neighbors! They're joining an already great cast of local avian inhabitants.

It was a treat to see this male Northern Cardinal belting out his song in a blooming Red Maple the other day:

Sing it, Mr. Cardinal:

This afternoon, I saw a male cardinal munching on the flowers from another tree:

I didn't know flowers were food for cardinals, but this guy certainly seemed to like them!

Blue Jays are constant -- and very handsome -- neighbors, but they almost never land as close to me as this one did. What a gorgeous bird:

Chipping Sparrows are recent arrivals, and I'm happy to see these cute little birds hopping around on the ground again:

We've got such great and diverse wildlife around here. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for baby phoebes in the next few weeks!

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