Phoebes 4: seeing inside the nest

[If you are getting tired of my phoebes, there is only one more post to go, and then I will not show you birds for a week or two!].

By now the chicks are getting bigger, and true feathers are starting to come in. It looks as though all five are still there.


Although the phoebes above the hanging basket tolerate my photography from the kitchen window, and the chicks are unable to escape my lens even if I am nearby, the adults don’t come to the nest if I am out in the open. The nest is under a little roof, so it can’t be seen from a distance, I have to get close. Copying the BBC Wildlife team, who always tell you something about how they got the footage, I thought I’d show you my amateur solution

I remembered a birder once telling me that a car made an excellent improvised hide.  So I parked my truck near the nest, rolled down the window, and sat quietly inside. For about ten minutes they were wary, but then they settled, and all the shots that show an adult on the nest were taken by this subterfuge. Here is the setup:

phoebe nest setupShe (or maybe he) brings in a choice morsel, like this grub:


or this dragonfly:

Phoebe with food

And then delivers it to her chick:


Deliveries are fast, she rarely hangs around. This one was a big moth:

Phoebe with food

and it is delivered by air (the moth is blown flat against his beak by the speed of takeoff):

Phoebe with food

Deliveroo and Grubhub, you’ve met your match.




5 thoughts on “Phoebes 4: seeing inside the nest”

  1. Don’t stop the posts, I’m involved with this family! Who of the kids gets the nest next year, how do they decide??? >


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