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Black Phoebes

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  • Brenda Wright
    Greetings,  Brenda and I drove to Uravan today to check on the Black Phoebes.  We check 3 known breeding locations and found birds at two of them.  We were
    Message 1 of 4 , Mar 15, 2013
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      Greetings, 
      Brenda and I drove to Uravan today to check on the Black Phoebes.  We check 3 known breeding locations and found birds at two of them.  We were there on the 12th and no phoebes were present.  First known spring migrant date is 14th March so the 15th will have to do for this year.
      Three Turkey Vultures tonight so numbers are building!
      Coen and Brenda
    • leon stigen
      Hello fellow birders! Well, I m very happy that my discovery of black phoebes on the Audubon trail here has sparked so many great comments from so many of you!
      Message 2 of 4 , Apr 17 8:47 PM
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        Hello fellow birders! Well, I'm very happy that my discovery of black phoebes on the Audubon trail here has sparked so many great comments from so many of you! First, I saw 2 phoebes this evening down at the same spot on the canal---the birds seem to favor a huge rock that is lying in the canal. I don't know for sure if these two birds are a pair, but many of you have written about seeing "a pair" of phoebes. The questions I have is do these birds often travel in pairs, do they form long term pair bonds, do they "migrate" together?!! I know that I am being rather "unscientific" here, but I do have a lot of questions about these rather mysterious birds and their recent wanderings. Jason, as far as ebird is concerned, I know that Larry Arnold used to report things on there but it would be totally new for me. Any suggestions you might have would be welcome. Thanks for all of your comments---lets all learn from each other about these fairly new birds in "our" territory!
           Lee Stigen
           Grand Junction
      • Michael Henwood
        Lee, I donÆt know the answers to your questions regarding migration, but when I observed the Black Phoebes on the evening of April 16, they certainly acted
        Message 3 of 4 , Apr 18 8:48 AM
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          Lee, 
          I don’t know the answers to your questions regarding migration, but when I observed the Black Phoebes on the evening of April 16, they certainly acted like a pair to me.  The base of the huge rock on the west side of the canal provides a nest site with a protective overhang over the water, very similar to nest sites I have observed in the past.  The first Colorado Breeding Bird Atlas indicates that Black Phoebes use areas that have both water and suitable nest sites, regardless of the surrounding vegetation (low-level riparian, foothills riparian, PJ riparian, etc.).  My hunch is that the birds will nest in the area using the crevice in the base of the huge rock on the west side of the canal to build their nest.  Will be interesting to watch and follow their progress during the breeding season.

          Couple of other thoughts.  Black Phoebes demonstrate strong nest-site fidelity, and if the pair nests successfully this year, they probably will return next year.  Also, I would not be surprised to find another pair nesting along the Redlands Canal (need a nest site with a protective overhang overlooking the canal).

          I did report my observations to eBird, and will go back and list you as the person who originally found the pair. 

          Mike Henwood
          Grand Junction 

          On Apr 17, 2014, at 9:47 PM, leon stigen <lstigen531@...> wrote:


          Hello fellow birders! Well, I'm very happy that my discovery of black phoebes on the Audubon trail here has sparked so many great comments from so many of you! First, I saw 2 phoebes this evening down at the same spot on the canal---the birds seem to favor a huge rock that is lying in the canal. I don't know for sure if these two birds are a pair, but many of you have written about seeing "a pair" of phoebes. The questions I have is do these birds often travel in pairs, do they form long term pair bonds, do they "migrate" together?!! I know that I am being rather "unscientific" here, but I do have a lot of questions about these rather mysterious birds and their recent wanderings. Jason, as far as ebird is concerned, I know that Larry Arnold used to report things on there but it would be totally new for me. Any suggestions you might have would be welcome. Thanks for all of your comments---lets all learn from each other about these fairly new birds in "our" territory!
             Lee Stigen
             Grand Junction


        • leon stigen
          This morning on the Audubon trail I saw one black phoebe near phoebe rock calling quietly above my head from a cottonwood tree. I m guessing that its mate
          Message 4 of 4 , May 3, 2014
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            This morning on the Audubon trail I saw one black phoebe near "phoebe rock" calling quietly above my head from a cottonwood tree. I'm guessing that its mate was either sitting on the first of the eggs or quietly sitting in the nest under the edge of the big rock. This evening, about 6:30 pm I saw a pair of black phoebes flycatching just downstream from the Redlands Water and Power bridge over the canal. So, I'm not sure how many black phoebes we have on the canal this Spring, but this is all pretty exciting to me! The 4 baby Great Horned Owls down in the Ela Sanctuary are all out of the nest now, and the 4 owlets along the Audubon trail are growing very fast so it won't be long before they attempt to leave the nest too!
               Lee Stigen
               Grand Junction
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