Monitoring a phoebe nest

An eastern phoebe finally built a nest on a large piece of wood I had nailed to the underside of my porch three years ago.

Unfortunately, a brown-headed cowbird egg is among the five eggs currently in the nest. Brown-headed cowbirds are brood parasites and lay their eggs in the nests of other birds. Conventional wisdom says to remove the egg, but that would likely result in the vindictive mother cowbird coming back to destroy the other eggs.

Also, a new line of thinking says to let nature take its course and not let human values interfere with nature. It’s difficult, but I’ll leave the nest alone. I’ll check it daily to see how this all shakes out.

The first egg was laid on Tuesday, June 11. On Wednesday, another phoebe egg and the cowbird egg was discovered. Thursday and Friday brought one phoebe egg each for a total of four phoebe eggs and one cowbird egg.

Here’s the progression of the nest …

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3 thoughts on “Monitoring a phoebe nest

  1. I actually had this happen a couple of years ago. Only the cowbird survived. The phoebes fed it until it fledged. But soon after, the phoebes went only to have a successful brood in the same nest.

    Liked by 1 person

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