Sunday, August 9, 2015

West Coast Neighbors (Or, We Have Phoebes Here, Too!)

After almost a year sharing a yard and house wall with friendly Eastern Phoebes back in Ohio, I've come to really love these little flycatchers. So I was super happy to discover that we have phoebe neighbors here in California, too! A Black Phoebe keeps showing up in our back yard to hunt for flying insects, and it doesn't seem to mind at all when I hang out with it (just a few yards away):

Goodness, what a handsome bird. It almost looks like it's borrowed a junco's outfit:

This phoebe looks downright fearsome from some angles; I wouldn't want to be a bug flying through our yard with this creature on the prowl:

But really, I can't think of phoebes as anything but friendly, and I'm so glad to find that this Black Phoebe is just as endearingly bold as the Eastern Phoebes I'm more familiar with:

There was also a lot of tail-wagging in between bursts of flight from the fence. Thank you for letting me hang out while you hunted, lovely phoebe:

Here are a couple other representative neighbors from our new yard (although I took these pictures about a month ago). Eurasian Collared-Doves are big and loud, and they're constantly calling from the tops of electrical posts and trees around our house:

Apparently these big doves have displaced most of the native Mourning Doves around here; indeed, I've only come across one Mourning Dove since we've moved in. These creatures are certainly a prominent feature of the neighborhood!

A few Ten-lined June Beetles have shown up in our yard so far:

What a monster! But it's a pretty cute one:

I love that we get amazing animal visitors even in our tiny yard. :)

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