Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thursday Birdblogging

George has taken a very nice shot of a baby robin. Another bird that we somewhat overlook, and I have had a juvenile with its spotted breast in my front yard since the beginning of spring.

Populations appear stable or increasing throughout its range. Because the robin forages largely on lawns, it is vulnerable to pesticide poisoning and can be an important indicator of chemical pollution. You can help scientists learn more about this species by participating in the Celebrate Urban Birds! project.
Although the appearance of a robin is considered a harbinger of spring, the American Robin actually spends the winter in much of its breeding range. However, because they spend less time in yards and congregate in large flocks during winter, you're much less likely to see them. The number of robins present in the northern parts of the range varies each year with the local conditions.

Feral Liberal has taken a wonderful shot here of a baby phoebe, a very small bird that on birdwatching trips I have taken is usually greeted with - oh, it's a phoebe - and everyone starts looking for something exciting.

Cool Facts

* In 1804, the Eastern Phoebe became the first banded bird in North America. John James Audubon attached silvered thread to an Eastern Phoebe's leg to track its return in successive years.

* The Eastern Phoebe is a loner, rarely coming in contact with other phoebes. Even members of a mated pair do not spend much time together. They may roost together a bit early in pair formation, but even during egg laying the female frequently chases the male away from her.

* The use of buildings and bridges for nest sites has allowed the Eastern Phoebe to tolerate the landscape changes made by humans and even expand its range. However, it still uses natural nest sites when they are available.



Blogger Feral said...

The phoebe is also known as "twitcher tail" due to its habit of wagging and flicking its tail while perched, a good means of identifying this rather plain bird. Ornithologists don't know the reason for this behavior.

6:02 AM  
Blogger Ruth said...

I admit I love its name. And always thought it must sing 'phoebe' but can't swear that it does.

4:56 PM  

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