Periodically I stop at Landlady’s house to check mousetraps and generally try to keep entropy to a minimum. This morning I was greeted on the porch by an intermittent but rather loud rustling noise, and I couldn’t find the source at first. I went inside and cleaned out mousetraps, came back outside and there was that noise again.
I finally decided that it was coming from a long slender box standing on its end in a corner. Must have held a rug or something; I’ll probably take it away and burn it once I’ve confirmed that Landlady doesn’t want it. Anyway, it’s open at the top and I figured that somehow a rat had checked it out and couldn’t get out.
I laid the box down on its side and sat on the woodbox/bench to observe what finally emerged. It only took a minute or two, and … it was no rat. It was a fully fledged but still baby Phoebe, no doubt from the nest a lady Phoebe annually makes up in a sheltered part of Landlady’s porch.
That explained the bird that had watched the whole thing with great interest from a deck post.