Phoebe’s back!

For the fifth straight year.

Click for bigger, she’s in there.


Set right to work building her nest in the usual place.


I keep thinking of deepening that ledge for her, but then I figure if she didn’t like it the way it is she wouldn’t keep coming back. And as precarious as it sometimes appears, she’s never lost a baby over the side.

Also found a visitor in the old chicken coop yesterday…


The bull snakes are really active this time of year. I’ve only seen one baby so far, in Landlady’s powershed. They’re more squirrelly and hostile, being less familiar with their place in the world I guess. The adults just sort of wait till you go away. Unlike rattlers, bull snakes are quite welcome around the Lair as long as they don’t try to come inside – which has happened.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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3 Responses to Phoebe’s back!

  1. coloradohermit says:

    With all the crazy going on in the world, it’s nice to get some normal. Welcome back Phoebe!

  2. Tree Mike says:

    In So. Cal. we call that a gopher snake. Yup, they’re always welcome. I was a snake kid, caught ’em every chance I’d get. Mostly mellow, once and awhile you would find a mean one. Now I still catch ’em occasionally.

  3. I think it’s a good idea to not try and improve the ledge. That very precarious-ness is what keeps predators at bay.

    Our Phoebe has two sites she uses. One – in a courtyard – so no snakes – but the owls have wiped her out numerous times. The pillar she’ll use is large enough for an owl to land on. The alcove on the side of a house is the second. it’s too tight and tucked away for an owl to get at it, but the bull snakes are always making attempts to climb up there. I’ve seen her make 5 nesting attempts over a season to only bring 2-3 kids to flight-time.

    I saw her in the courtyard several days ago – staking out her turf. Same with the Oriole who’s been trying to make a go of the courtyard as a nest site for a few years. He was looking for ‘his’ avocado tree – which I haven’t rolled out of winter shelter yet. They like that tree because they can stitch the big leaves together with fibers and shelter their nest with the woven leaves.

    The weather’s just about right now for the rattlers to start coming out – I’m figuring the first sighting will be in a couple seeks. The active hunting snakes like coachwhips and bull snakes have been out for a few weeks now.

To the stake with the heretic!