Day 24 of 365
Well, I broke my promise to keep my distance from my tiny new neighbors’ home. I didn’t get too close, but I got a little closer than I had promised. To be fair, I was worried one of the babies was dead. To be honest, I mostly knew it wasn’t and knew I should mind my own business even if it was. But I am curious. I am also a worrier. I had to take a closer look.
I just kind of looked with my phone though. I stayed about 10 feet away and just held up my phone and zoomed the camera all the way in. I got a picture. I also saw the baby that I thought was dead shake their little head. Not dead, of course. Just very chill babies. This is my first experience having a bird nest so close watching wild babies. I thought the babies would be rowdier, like baby chickens. Not at all. They are so quiet and chill. They only cheep every now and then. Maybe they are really content. They do have two parents working to meet their needs 24/7. Ron said maybe they have to be quiet for danger reasons. That makes sense too.
Either way, I learned today that the babies are not dead. I also learned they are fuzzy and adorable, like ugly adorable, and now I am in love with these babies, just like I am in love with their parents.
I seem to be learning something every day from these tiny neighbors. I looked and could not find a book on Eastern Phoebes. I feel like these amazing birds should have a whole book devoted to them. How can there not be such a thing?
So I am learning everything I can from the internet. The Audubon Guide to North American Birds has been helpful but is not nearly as detailed as I would like. But here are a few tidbits I have learned so far.
- Eastern Phoebes mate for life! How magnificent is that? Apparently, sometimes, the male will have two mates though, but he stays with those for life.
- Their nests are made of mud, moss, leaves, grass, and animal hair. I am certain the inside of that nest must include Boudica fur. Every nest I have ever found on the ground around here included Great Pyrenees fur.
- Both parents feed the babies, and they stay very busy. I have seen so many mouthfuls of bugs headed to that nest. The babies are thankful. I am also thankful. We live in the Maine woods. There are plenty of bugs to spare.
- They will often raise two broods each summer. I am hope, hope, hope, hoping they use the same nest. Apparently, they often do. I believe these birds know they are very welcome here. My husband and I have our tea and coffee on the deck every morning and just watch them in action. So far, they seem totally fine with us being there, but I hope they know I love them.
- The migrate as far south as Mexico. I have never been to Mexico but would love to go. I wish my neighbors could tell me about Mexico. I wish they could tell me about their amazing journey. Can’t you just imagine?
- And, of course, the babies are amazingly chill. I will have to keep reading to see if I can find out more about this. I can’t see for sure how many babies are in the nest, but I definitely caught two little fuzzy heads in my picture.
- The babies will start to leave the nest in about 16 days. I think we are at day 3 or 4 right now.
That’s all I have for now. I can’t wait to learn more, and I will keep you posted on the babies. It’s fascinating to me to have these wild birds and babies to observe while Ruby is also raising her baby chicks. It’s a great vibe. We have some children coming to our little farmstead to visit in the coming weeks, and I can’t wait to share all of this with them.
Also, how devastated am I going to be when my tiny neighbors leave? There will be many tears.