The fifth and final phoebe installment: Launched

As they got bigger and bigger, it was hard to see how they could fit into the nest.


It got very hot, and the exhausted mother joined them for a rest:

phoebe chicks

One evening, two of them were sitting right on the edge of the nest.

phoebe chicks

and the next morning, 14 days after I first photographed them, instead of five there were three,

Phoebe, just fledging or fledged today

Ominously, underneath the nest there was a sizable garter snake, attracted  by the smell of their droppings, and living in hope that one would fall and be easy pickings.

At 11.45am I came back from the post office, hands full, no camera, and as soon as I opened the door three flustered panicked fledglings took off over my head, milled around under the eaves, and then were gone.  The parents immediately appeared, calling frantically, but the nest was empty.

Phoebe, just fledging or fledged today

And then I saw the snake, no bulge in his middle, so they all got off scot-free. An hour or so later, this fledgling was perched in the branches of a nearby weeping willow sapling, none the worse for wear.

Phoebe, just fledging or fledged today

I hear them around, and the conscientious parents should now be feeding the fledglings for a while longer.

I will miss them.

5 thoughts on “The fifth and final phoebe installment: Launched”

  1. Aside from being missed, a successful story!. And the mother looks like an indifferent choirmaster with an active choir! >


  2. A wonderful series of posts, Moira. Have wonderful lives, Phoebe fledgelings & give your parents a feathery hug for bringing you such delicious, bird appropriate meals.


  3. I have loved the evolving story of the young phoebes Moira – along with your usual miraculous pictures. Thank you so much.


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