Fine With Phoebe


The Black Phoebe in pen and ink.

Every year we have an addition built on our home. We don’t build it ourselves. The black phoebe families build their mud and twig nests under our western roof peaks when they come to stay.


This beautifully beak crafted addition to our home is a classic phoebe nest.


At a different roof peak, another phoebe family built their new nest on top of last seasons nest. I think this addition was built by the Picasso of the Phoebe world.


These little flycatchers strike fear in the hearts of mosquitoes! They’re always welcome moving in with us. Besides, I don’t mind a little mud.

“It is not only fine feathers that make fine birds.”

38 thoughts on “Fine With Phoebe

  1. Tim,
    What a lovely story! Clever title, art, quote, humor, happy ending. A collection of little bird stories would make a perfect book for bird lovers and bird watchers. What a great teaching tool too. You have a gift for sharing nature with us. Thank you!


  2. Great pen n ink as always! I would love to have a few at my house. They’d have plenty of food flying around!


  3. Lovely addition! I have barnswallows nesting in the upper corner of my front door. I see similarities in the nest construction. I really enjoy watching them in their process.


    • Yes, they are a lot like the swallows. We have swallows that occasionally hunt bugs over our ponds. They nest under a nearby bridge. Phoebes like water too, which is probably why they like our house, because we have ponds nearby.


  4. Love your drawing of the flycatcher, one of my favorite birds. The nests are quite fascinating. I was wondering how you and Mary are doing with the incredible fires around you, please let us know – the last I remember you guys decided not to go to the camp. Take care ~


    • Thank you Mary. The fire situation is much better at the moment. It never reached camp and CalFire has declared it contained. They will moniter it for awhile. There are a couple of major fires down in the Southern Sierras, but they are a long way from us. I think they are making progress on those. We’re just keeping our fingers crossed that things settle down.


  5. Tim, I thought I should give you enough time to do your fine art painting and you already finished.. It is beautiful drawing. I also thought dealing with big logs you can’t draw soft and small.. amazingly wrong!!! yes you can and it is amazing work. good to visit you again.


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