Monday, March 16, 2009

Diary of a nesting Phoebe, part I

"Dear Diary: Today me and my mate had a lot of work to do. This nest really needed some sprucing up. The landlords at this place tewtally didn't keep it tidy at all during the off-season!"

"Luckily there's lots of moss and lichen around this place, which makes freshening up our little home a lot easier."

"My muscles really got a workout as I balanced on the nest and worked my belly into it to get a nice bowl hollowed out."

"No corner went untouched! The back wall needs to be reinforced as much as the sides and the front. Our babies need a sturdy, safe place to in which to hatch!"

A few notes from the "slacker" landlord: First, sorry for the picture quality. These are basically screenshots of screenshots, so the images aren't too clear, but I hope you get the gist of it. Second, we've had the cam running most of this evening, and there wasn't much activity, but suddenly I looked up and noticed someone sitting on the nest. Not fixing it up. SITTING. Normally I hear one of them before they show up on camera, but this time he or she slipped in silently. I assume it's momma Phoebe, and since she's actually staying there for the night, I would have to think she's laid her first egg!!!!

Unfortunately we can't see down into the nest to see the eggs, but time will tell soon enough. Once she starts sitting on the nest during the day, we'll start counting down the days to hatching!


Kallen305 said...

She is already laying eggs??? Didn't she just get there??? OMG! I think I am just as excited as you are. I so have to see one this weekend. So cute on that nest!

Kelly said... cool! I think the photos look pretty clear. I can see she has a bill full of moss in the second shot...getting ready to fluff the nest. It's very exciting. You're lucky!

KaHolly said...

Pretty exciting! Our phoebes should be showing up soon. Maybe a walk to their nest today is in order for reassurance! We have only had red-winged blackbirds here for about 3 days, so it's just beginning! Looking forward to more from the diary of your mostly grateful resident phoebe!

Meg said...

I agree--this is cool! I keep checking the nestcam for action. I feel like I'm there!

David said...

Sorry folks. Technical difficulties with the nestcam today. Some days that ustream encoder is quite flaky. Our internet connection is a little tenuous out where we are and I suspect ustream is not tolerant to hiccups that probably occur. I think I'm going to try to figure out how to remotely reset the camera.

Kathiesbirds said...

Oh, I hope all goes well. I observed a pair of nesting phoebes at my father-in-law's house in Maine last summer. The parents were activly feeding the chicks and then for some reason the babies died! It was heart breaking to me.

The Early Birder said...

Amazing to see how quickly your returning birds get down to basic housework & then hopefully successful breeding.

Shellmo said...

she made her nest so pretty with that moss! I can't wait to see the babies - LIVE ON NESTCAM!!! :)

Heather said...

Kallen - I think I may have jumped the gun in assuming she had laid an egg already. From the little bit of nest work I saw her doing today, she would have broken any eggs that were in there, so I think I'm just overly anxious!

Kelly - Thanks, I'm glad the photos are clear. I'm so happy I have a way to share this with others!

KaHolly - I'm glad to hear spring is waking up in your area.

Meg - I know, isn't it great fun to watch?

Dave - Hi sweetie. Thanks for the explanation behind the technical difficulties with our cam. You rock!

Kathie - Thanks, I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I have observed several failed nest attempts over the years, and it always bums me out a lot.

Frank - Yes, I agree. A lot of the hard work was done already, though, with the basic framework already attached to the wall and all.

Shelley - Yes, it is quite a pretty nest, and it just keeps getting bigger and greener!