Birding Notes

Reflections on birds and other wildlife on the edge of a southern woodland

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Bluebird and Phoebe Nests

A pair of Eastern Bluebirds are feeding babies in the bluebird house at the edge of our yard. Both male and female go in and out steadily with food. Twice this morning as I watched, the female flew in with food, and the male flew right behind her and perched on top of the nest box, waiting while she was inside. When she came out, he flew away with her. At other times, he went in with food by himself.

Once they flew to the box together, she ducked directly into the entrance and he perched on top to wait for her, and waited – and waited. When she had not come out after what seemed like a very long time, he finally moved toward the front of the box, leaned over and peered down toward the entrance, then stepped off and fluttered in front of the entrance hole for a couple of seconds before flying away to a nearby branch. I also got tired of waiting for her to emerge and looked away – so I don’t know when she finally came out.

Meanwhile, there’s an Eastern Phoebe sitting in a nest in the curve of the gutter pipe just below the roof, pretty high up from the ground. Her sooty-dark head can just be seen rising above the nest. If I stand and look up at her for more than a few seconds, she flies out of the nest and away. The male sings frequently, and hunts from low branches all around that area.

And this afternoon a Carolina Chickadee fluttered around the entrance to a ceramic nest we’ve hung from a branch of a pecan tree in the front yard – so maybe a pair will adopt it, too. We’re not sure this nest will work very well, because it’s designed to be hung, and seems to swing a lot in the wind, but we’ll see.


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