Sunday, May 1, 2011

Phoebe update

It's been well over a month since I have posted about our nesting Eastern Phoebes. As you can imagine, a lot can happen in one month. The last time I posted about them they were just getting the nest built. Well, now they have 5 healthy-looking young ones that will be fledging within the next week.

A few weeks ago, friend, neighbor, and licensed bird bander Bob Scott Placier came out and did a very special thing - he banded one of our Phoebes. The hope and plan was to band both parents, but Mama Phoebe was on the nest while we were setting up the mist nets and had her eye on us the whole time, so she had a very good idea that we were up to something. Something that she didn't really want to take part in, thank you very much. Fair enough, Mama. The baby Phoebes were still very young at that point, so she needed to spend as much time on the nest as possible in order to keep them warm.

After patiently waiting an hour or so, Papa Phoebe finally flew by and into the nets. Bob worked quickly to record the relevant data and put the band on his leg so Papa could get back to the business of foraging for his young. I did have time, though, so snap a few quick shots of our proud Papa.

Now, when the Phoebes come back to nest next March, I will be looking for a band on one member of the pair to confirm whether or not the same birds are coming back here year after year.

Here's a video of the very active babies, taken on April 30th. Peeping, wing flapping, tail wagging - yes, I would say they are the picture of health.

1 comment:

Kelly said...

Really cool, Heather!!!