Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Eastern Phoebe

1. EAPH-kab Eastern Phoebe Norridgewock, ME 5-29-11

Every spring or summer when I visit my in-laws’ house in Norridgewock, ME I always find a pair of Phoebes nesting under their garage roof. In fact, my father-in-law built these nesting shelves just for them. He is the one who first introduced me to phoebes. I recorded my first ever sighting of the species here in this yard on July 4, 1996. Since then I have seen the species in several other places and in several other states, but I always looks forward to coming here and seeing the sweet little birds nesting in the summer.

2. EAPH nest-kab Phoebe on nest 5-29-11

3. Phoebe on wire-kab Phoebe on wire 5-29-11

I saw both parents nearby on this day, one had a plainer and slightly yellow breast and belly but this bird had this dark “belly band” which I found unusual and it almost threw me off on my identification but after observing the bird feeding the nestlings and consulting my bird guides I could only conclude it was still an Eastern Phoebe. After I off-loaded my photos and looked at it more closely I started to wonder if the dark area was from the moss used in the nest. Perhaps this is the mother bird who spends the most time on the nest and the moss has stained her belly feathers? Anyone with insight, please leave a comment.

5. nest-kab Look closely and you can see the chick in the nest with its beak open and the tail of the parent on the roof of the garage! (All photos click to enlarge).

6. EAPH-kab Eastern Phoebe 5-29-11

(All photos taken with the Nikon D80 and the 70-300mm lens set in sports mode)


4. EAPH-kab Eastern Phoebe 5-29-11

Eastern Phoebe

Kathie’s Life List # 58

Alpha Code




Date of First sighting

July 4, 1996


Norridgewock, ME


First Sightings in other States


Colchester, CT

July 8, 2008

Warren County, Ohio

April 25, 2009

Fayetteville, WV

April 27, 2009

Seabrooke Rest Area, NH

June 25, 2009

Lake Hefner, OK

March 18, 2010

Stirling Bog, Andover, MA

April 5, 2011


  1. Wonderful photos, I love the bright green foliage in the background. The nesting ledge was a great idea of your f-in-lw's. Hope your back is on the mend Kathie.

  2. Wow! That green on the belly is somethin' else. I've never seen anything like it before. I can't wait for someone to chime and in enlighten us.

  3. That is a lovely reddish brown colour on that bird Kathie.

  4. Great shots Kathie! I remember seeing yellow on a phoebe when I first started birding and thought it was a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher.

  5. Denise, nice to see you. Yes, my father-in-law is handy that way and he does love the birds. My back is on the mend and I am out and about once again. I'm currently down in CT with my Mom helping her get her house ready for her 75 birthday party in 2 weeks!

    Birding is fun, I really think it is from the moss on the nest. when the bird flies up to it, it leans right against it. what I don't understand is why the other bird does not have it? It sure threw me off at first though.

    Roy, I am surprised it looks reddish-brown. The phoebe looks olive green to me. Did you mean the thrush below?

    Larry, yes, that has occurred to me also but when the bird is singing "phoebe" rapid fire it throws that idea right out of your mind!

  6. Roy, I looked at the post once again and I see what you mean. Yes, that first bird DOES look reddish brown! Must be the lighting and the color "pop" on Live Writer!

  7. Hey Kathie, Sorry you didn't make it on WBW, this is such a great post too. I think your nesting box with the clear sides is a really cool idea. Funny you should show your Swainson's Thrush, I just saw my first thrush ever today! I think it was a Wood thrush however. I will be putting it up next week I'm sure.
    Loved your pictures and the history. Cheers!

  8. How wonderful that your father-in-law built nesting shelves for the phoebes! I never tire at looking at the these beautiful birds. Wonderful captures! What a treat to view the phoebes nesting. Pure delight!

  9. Howdee Kathie! Just catching up on your blog..I have been so busy with Mom and Dad and sick Kittie :(

    The nest shelf is a great idea. Must be so much fun to be there and see this.

    Jeff and I are in CT now until the end of June..hope we can get togethere

  10. Hi Kathie

    I love the Eastern Phoebe espacially the first photo. I am glad to hear you are starting to feel better.


  11. What a cute bird. Love the name Phoebe too. At first I thought you had named it! LOL And what a cool idea of the clear plastic nest box. That way we can all see what is going on. Awesome!


Welcome to my nest! I hope you will enjoy spending time here with me and the birds. Thank you for your comments. I will try to get back to you as soon as I get back from counting more birds.