the phoebes are back!

First visit of the season by an Eastern phoebe. Phoebes are grayish-brown with a white breast and throat. They look like several other bird species; however, there are two big clues that you’re looking at a phoebe: their constant tail pumping and their call, a wheezy “phoebe, phoebe.” Their call sounds a lot like a child squeezing a rubber “squeeky” toy. This phoebe is holding a dragonfly in his beak.

A pair nested in our porch rafters last spring and kept us company all summer, long after their young had fledged. They called to each other throughout the day and would occasionally follow us around the farm, flying from tree to tree, sallying forth at times to snatch an insect from the air. Mated pairs tend to nest in the same place in successive years, so this pair is probably the same pair that nested here last year. We welcome these friendly birds and their voracious appetite for insects!

There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter. — Rachel Carson