We do not like for the birds to nest on our front porch. Especially the Eastern Phoebe as she uses mud to mold her nest. Here in my Georgia Gardens, we have areas of Red Clay and I do not care for Clay to stain the woodwork of the house. I have won the battle with the Wren and Finch and my hanging plants. I place a fake nest with plastic eggs inside the plants. This way the birds think there is already a nest in each plant and they go elsewhere. I fear drowning a baby with watering a plant from below so I keep the birds out of the hanging plants. Eastern Phoebes on the other hand, do not build their nest in a plant but prefer to use a ledge such as our porch corners. As you can see, we have put Finials (fence tops) on the ledges but somehow Phoebe moved this one just enough to build a nest. We have a rule, if the nest gets built before we spot it, it stays. Then we must deal with the birds until the babies have fledged the nest. This little stinker had a nest build upon our return trip from TN last month. They are smart birds!
I enjoy birds of all types in my Georgia Gardens and have documented 54 different species over the years we have called this place home. Eastern Phoebes are Fly Catcher's, meaning they eat tons of flying insects. So they are my friends as they can have all the pesky bugs they desire in my gardens! Phoebe's nest are made from moss, grasses and held together with mud. They get most of their supplies for nest building by the run-off creek as I have watched them build a nest in our garage in the past.
She was very calm with us coming and going through the front door of the house daily. We had to make a few adjustments to live in harmony with Phoebe. We have turned off the automatic (motion censor) lights on the porch and house corners so as to not disturb her during the dark hours. We also keep the window blind near the nest closed so our cats do not disturb her as they look out the windows. When watering the porch plants, I do not linger around as I water and get out of sight as soon as possible. As you can see, our sacrifices have paid off. We have babies in the nest!
Phoebe is busy feeding her brood now. I can hardly wait until the day the baby's leave the nest and I can have the porch back to normal. I must keep an eye out in case OJ or Coco kitty are around when they fly the nest. I must admit, it has been fun watching them from the living room windows. And it does not look as though Phoebe used red clay when building her nest. So hopefully, this area will clean up with little elbow grease.
Click on the video to see the EASTERN PHOEBE, feeding her baby's, In the Garden...
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden