SE Colorado Birding

Birding and discussion: A conservation-oriented birding blog that emphasizes low-impact birding and sustainable birding practices together with the enjoyment of birds. Southeast Colorado offers a diversity of habitats which provide premiere birding opportunities. Save Sabal Palm

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Another day in the life of Black Phoebes

Today is the third day that the Black Phoebe fledglings have been out of the nest. I found them, and an adult, several hundred feet from the nest site. This is consistent with my prior experience with this species--they stay near the nest the first day or so then move the fledglings further out on day 3. It is also my experience that the Black Phoebes move away so I have been unable to refind them after day 3 so this is likely the last time I will see (or at least know that they are the birds born here) these fledglings.

Unfortunately I only saw 2 fledglings so it is likely that one has already perished. This is consistent with information in Birds of North America (BNA) online which states, "1 to several young often disappear during first 3 d after fledging." BNA also notes that the family moves away after day 3. The fledglings were demonstrating strong flight skills today and had flown across to the other side of the river, which is about 100 feet. The parent and fledglings were all calling fairly frequently (presumably the fledglings were calling to communicate their hunger and the parent may return calls to keep contact or give instructions to avoid the human with the big eye, as I imagine my camera lens appears to them). The fledglings were keeping to the overhanging vegetation and flew away after I took 2 photos.

Interestingly I saw an adult Black Phoebe a quarter mile away. I don't think it was the parent that was attending the fledglings since that bird was very busy feeding them, and they were all still in the same area when I walked back. Maybe one of the parents was taking a break from parental duties. SeEtta


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