The Secret Lair has babies!

I had to break out the Official TUAK Camera for this – which as it turns out I still don’t know how to focus when zooming heavily, so bear with me…


Yup, that bird – tentatively identified by a TUAK reader as a Phoebe – that built a nest on the Secret Lair right where I was planning to paint, has successfully hatched out two little fledglings currently intent on making her life busy. They’re in the “shut up and stuff something down my throat” phase of avian development.

I’ve had other things on my mind and haven’t been doing anything constructive anyway, and so have left her as unmolested as I can given that she takes it as a big crisis every time I walk around that corner of my own damned cabin. I still have to finish painting those eaves, but the parts vulnerable to Monsoon are complete so it doesn’t have to be this week – or last month, which is when it was scheduled for doing.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The Secret Lair has babies!

  1. Mike says:

    Cool pic, focused or not. One thing about the camera, just before you are going to take the photo try gently pressing the shutter button (the button you press to take the pic) for a second then press it to take the photo. The light touch should engage the auto focus feature.

  2. Ben says:

    Uncle Joel is a daddy!

    I hate to always be dreaming up work for Joel, but is there any chance of getting a coat of paint on that porch deck before monsoon season? With a roller on a stick it would be a quick job, (but I understand that paint doesn’t grow on trees).

  3. bmq215 says:

    Always been a big fan of phoebes. They love to nest on ledges like that, often the ones of porches. A bit of human contact doesn’t seem to do them harm (actually, it probably helps deter nest predators).

    Bio nerd trivia: phoebes are one of the “tyrant flycatchers” in the family Tyrannidae. So you’ve got your own resident tyrant now. Sorta seems fitting for TUAK.

  4. Edward says:


    It appears to me that you used up the optical zoom and went into the digital zoom feature on top of that. When that happens, it is almost necessary to have a tripod or have the camera resting on a solid surface to get a sharp picture. Like Mike said, lightly touch the shutter button and it should auto focus before you press down harder for the actual shot but with the digital enhancement any motion makes fuzzy images..

  5. Apparently a Phoebe has adopted you – or your home anyway. The ones around here are pretty used to me and I keep track of their nests as they’re in areas where I frequent. I can whistle a couple of their calls and some early evenings we carry on a back-and-forth. You may enjoy getting to see her giving the kids flight training – teaching them to take bugs out of the air. You’ll hear them calling to each other a lot during that process. A couple weeks later she’ll cut the ties and may even try for another brood or two for the season. When it’s not nesting season they just roost in out of the way spots – but you’ll see them angling the sky nearby for most of the warm season. Once the flying bugs are gone they’ll head to where it’s warmer but they’ll probably be back in Spring.

    Sorry to go on but I’ve come a admire the Phoebe over time – they’re incredibly industrious and tenacious for such a small package.

    I’ve got Orioles nesting in an avocado tree I’ve got in a container in the courtyard. Despite a perfectly good tree in the middle of it – they thought this 6′ tree on the porch was the place to build a nest and I finally gave up and let them use it. I think they like the great big leaves for how well the conceal and cover the nest. With the heat here the mother doesn’t actually spend much time on the nest so I’ve been taking a quick look every day. 3 days hatched so far. I’m looking forward to see what type of training Orioles do.

  6. Joel says:

    If she adopted me personally she’s got a funny way of showing it. I went out to take a picture for a blog post earlier this morning, her babies were peeping piteously away and she acted like her world was ending. I’m stuck using the back door for the next couple of days which means I must pass by the corner where she built her nest, and she’s just going to have to get over it.

To the stake with the heretic!