Nesting Eastern Phoebe

I spotted this Eastern Phoebe last week in front of one of the cabins where I was staying. I was surprised when this bird did not flush from the area as I walked by. So I stopped to check it out. Aha, I spotted a second Eastern Phoebe sitting on a nest. As I watched the first phoebe caught an insect and brought it to the phoebe on the nest indicating that this first bird was the male partner to the female.

As the nest was located not far from my cabin I was able to observe this pair frequently. The female sat on the nest a lot indicating that she had eggs she was sitting on. Let me note that I did not get close to the nest to take these photos–that would risk flushing the female and damaging the eggs as they might be exposed to cold or heat. That is one of the reasons I have a very long lens for my dslr camera so I can take photos from a distance that is safe for the birds–so I don’t stress or flushed them, or interfere with their activities of daily living.

Eastern Phoebes are members of the ‘flycatcher’ family. And these birds do catch flying insects. They usually perch on a branch of a tree or shrub then fly out to intercept the insect they are after.

Interestingly these birds give a call that says their name ‘phoe-be’/'fee-bee’ (with an accent on the second syllable). You can listen to their calls on this Audubon Guides webpage.

Eastern Phoebes are found throughout the eastern half of the United States and a large part of Canada as shown in the range map from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology shown below.

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