La. passer sparrow, small bird
La. forma form,
Gr. turannos tyrant
La. tyrannus tyrant,
La. Sayorins for zoologist
La. Phoebe mythological
daughter of Uranus
F. C. Hennessey
|Six or seven inches long. Brown head with
slight crest, gray brown back, gray wings with white bars and white underside with yellow
tint. Black bill and feet. Characteristic up and down tail motion.
Inhabits woodland edges, shady ravines, river bottoms and open fields in most
of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario, throughout the Great Lakes Region, to New
Brunswick and Nova Scotia all down the east coast and Appalachia over to the Great Plains.
Migrates to Mexico and the Caribbean.
Builds nests of twigs, roots and moss, cemented with mud, lined with
grass, hair, and feathers in woodlands near wetlands, very often near and with humans on
house ledges under eaves, in farm buildings, on and under bridge beams, or cliff
protrusions very often in the same place year after year almost always under something.
Their nests have been found in culverts, caves, wells, freight train cars and even a ferry
that was in use.
|Lays four to six, more or less, speckled white eggs
which hatch after about two weeks incubation and young leave the nest in about another two
Often rears two broods in a season. Phoebes mate for
Feeds on moths, flies, bees and other insects it catches on the fly
like the swallows with a clap of its beak. Also eat berries.
Makes an abrupt, harsh note.
The free woodworking plans of the Phoebe platform (below) have approximately a 6" by 6" base, approximately a 6" ceiling,
an open front and partially open sides.
Mount platform on the side of a garage, shed or porch under open shelter or an eave over
looking both open spaces and foliage in your back yard from seven to twelve feet high.
Carefully select a location that provides a balance of protection from
predators and elements, access and visibility. If location
is under a roof, use an open platform.
Do not mount in a
tree. Make sure objects that cats and squirrels can climb do not provide access to the
nest. The strategy is to simulate a cliff edge. They like to survey a wide berth from
their roost. They also like bird baths
Swallows, Black Phoebes, Say's Phoebes and Song Sparrows may use this