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

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Nesting Black Phoebes

Typically found along streams in the southwest, this species is found in only a few locations in Colorado. They are found in southwest Colorado, southeast Colo near the New Mexico border, in Pueblo County and since 1995 in Fremont County where I live. Since I found the first Black Phoebe in Fremont Co, they have returned and increased in numbers and nesting locations and recently have been found in Salida (just a short distance from the western edge of Fremont Co where they have nested for several years).I found the first nesting Black Phoebes on private property near Canon City. They nested under a foot bridge over a canal. After nesting in an open area where Barn Swallows also nested and frequently flew by, they moved their nest to under the center section of the bridge (as shown in the second pic) that is difficult for the the swallows to access. It is also difficult to photograph since there is usually water in the canal. Earlier this week the canal was shut down and I took the opportunity to obtain these pics of the Black Phoebe nestlings in their nest.The top pic is a close up of one of the Black Phoebe nestlings while the 3rd pic shows this same nestling with the wings and tail of a second nestling that is lying in the opposite direction (with head not visible). Getting photos with the nest only a few inches from the bottom of the concrete (and setting back about 18 inches from the opening) was challenging (there is a reflection from the concrete at the top of the pics). I was several feet back from the nest and I stayed only a few minutes so as to minimize disrupting the birds. As I've noted before, I am happy with reasonable pics like these since getting really good pics would involve a high level of intrusion. Do double-click on the top pic to get a super close-up view.

I could see there were 3 nestlings in the nest, but the 3rd bird was on the other side of the nest so didn't show up in any pics. I figured these nestlings were getting close to fledging and as noted in the next post, they did fledge only 3 days after I took these pics. SeEtta


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