I changed course on today's post because so many people (here on 24, on Instagram, and on Twitter) are now interested in the babies I'm expecting.

Well, really I'm not (exactly) the one expecting.

I took this photo of Phoebe yesterday so you could meet her:

(All of today's photos of Phoebe were taken with a Canon 100-400 lens.)

I've named her Phoebe because she's a Black Phoebe and I'm real original like that. (!!)

For those of you who are nature lovers, this is what I know about Black Phoebes.

Black Phoebes live near water.  They eat insects and sometimes small fish.  They build their nests out of mud on the exterior, and dry plant fibers on the interior.  They like to build their nests under things (like cliffs or our pool grotto) so the nest stays hidden from predators.

Here's the current nest for those of you who missed yesterday's post:


Here's another photo of Phoebe taken yesterday:

She thinks the noise of my camera shutter is very interesting.  She cocks her head from side to side when the camera clicks.

Why does Phoebe return every year to make a nest in our pool grotto?

Well, our house is near water.  We have a lake right behind our house.  Also, our pool is a "natural" rock pool and animals frequently think it IS natural.  (The pool is actually a salt water pool, unlike the fresh water lake behind our house.)


I'm really nice to Phoebe.

I try to keep the waterfall off until she's done nesting and the babies have learned to fly.  It makes it easier for her to fly in and out of the grotto if the waterfall isn't running.  Phoebe does not like the waterfall on.  Phoebe is used to me swimming every day, and she's even used to me checking on the progress of her babies.  

(I peek, but I never touch the nest, the eggs, or the babies once they hatch.)

I keep the dogs away from Phoebe, although Mocha did bark at her once yesterday when Phoebe was being a bit of a dog-pest.

Phoebe in flight after being barked at:


Predators are looming around Phoebe's nest.

Yesterday we had a red shouldered hawk in one of our trees near the pool.

As I do every year, I find myself hoping Phoebe and her hatchlings survive.

© Twenty Four At Heart 

10 Responses to “Phoebe”

  1. Jan

    Phoebe is beautiful!
    We have several hawks in our very suburban neighborhood; the other day as we were returning to work after lunch, one was just sitting in a neighbor’s yard. Beloved stopped the car and we sat an watched it, while it say and watched us. After several minutes, it flew off – with a large squirrel in it’s talons. We’d apparently interrupted it’s lunch.

  2. Di

    Oh.. sweet Mama Phoebe! I wonder how long the gestation period of the eggs is..

  3. WebSavvyMom

    –>Everytime you mention your grotto I think of the Playboy Mansion.
    I wish we were getting a waterfall in our “in-ground” pool. And a grotto. 😉

  4. Denise

    I have Phoebe birds too and they return every year. They had a nest under our eaves but it had to come down with our remodel last Fall. I was a little concerned, but they showed up again this year right on schedule and built a new nest:-) They are my favorite Spring visitors.

  5. Judi

    My hubby and I monitor a bluebird trail of about 12 boxes, and it’s so fun to watch the progress of the nests, count the eggs, and watch the babies grow and fledge! I hope you post updates as the eggs hatch.

  6. Denise ;)

    I luved seeing Phoebe in flight. Great picture.

  7. Denise ;)

    I luved seeing Phoebe in flight. Great picture.


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