Sunday, September 21, 2008

Eastern Phoebe

Its not often that I have an opportunity to get very close to an Eastern Phoebe but yesterday, while looking out at our feeder area, I saw a butterfly flutter by and I grabbed my camera and went out into our garden to see if I could find it. I didn't see the butterfly again but I did see a bird fly and land on the roof of my neighbour's storage shed. Right away I was sure it was some sort of flycatcher but thought it was too large to be a Phoebe for it seemed larger than what my perception of this species' size was. However when looking in my field guides, both Sibley and Peterson's, I could easily identified it as an Eastern Phoebe and I found that this bird is about 7 inches in length, larger than I had originally thought.The totally black bill, the dark head and the weak wing bars all led me to its identification. Also the dark smudges on the sides of its light breast indicated to me that this was an adult.One of my favourite Phoebe photos is shown below. Taken on September 22, 2006 this distant view picks up the yellowish belly of a juvenille Eastern Phoebe. The blur and distortion of the background highlights some of the colourful autumn leaves at this time of year.

14 comments:

kjpweb said...

Sweet bird! Even the adults look like babies! :)
Have a great weekend!
Cheers, Klaus

Mike - Fenphotography said...

Nice visitor and great shots.

Mary said...

Those are great shots! I love the way it is looking at you in that last photo on the roof :-) Sort of a "are you done yet?" pose. It has beautiful soft coloration. That photo on the wire really makes it stand out even at such a distance!

Deborah Godin said...

Really like the step-by-step documentation you did of your ID. I often have trouble with phoebes, pewees and the little Empids: they're hard to locate in the trees and don't sit still long enough. They should be required to wear numbers! I have a whole sub-category on my Life List for 'song IDs only'

Becky and Gary said...

I've only ever seen one. Great close-up. Helps with the ID.

Bird Colibri said...

It's people like you that make birders like me very happy. You've given an explanation of your ID that consists of something other than just saying "This is ___." When I first started birding I met a lot of people who weren't very helpful, so I'm mostly self-taught. I met a professor at Oregon State University this year that, like you, uses easily understood explanations (kind words too!). Keep up the excellent work!

Rambling Woods said...

That is a great ID Ann..I am trying so hard to improve my skills and little by little, they are getting better....

scienceguy288 said...

I saw a pheobe about a week ago for the first time (first time I IDed it at any rate) too.

Leedra said...

Great shots!

Bobbie in Hawaii said...

What a cute little bird. It reminds me of a chickadee.

2sweetnsaxy said...

Awww. It's such a little cutie! Nice shots. :-)

Denise said...

How adorable is that little bird? Great capture and I too love the information you have supplied as I am just learning. Thank you! Great photos and I did enjoy the last one. A lovely piece of art in a photo!

Mo said...

What a beautiful little bird. I'd never heard of it. And a lovely name too!

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