This sweet bird greets me every morning outside my mom’s kitchen window in New Hampshire. Both the male and the female are building a nest under the back porch by the cellar door. They habitually place their mud, moss and grass nests in protected nooks on bridges, barns and every year they build under my mom’s back porch.
The Eastern Phoebe sings its own name, FEE-be, and can be heard frequently around our yard and the farm here in the spring and summer. An interesting curiosity I learned about these birds is that unlike most songbirds who must hear other birds to learn their song, an Eastern Phoebe raised in isolation will still sing its perfect FEE-be song, passed down through its genes somehow.
In 1804, this common flycatcher became famous for being the first bird to be banded in North America. John James Audubon attached a silver thread to its leg so he could identify him when he returned each year.
Flycatchers are fun to watch. They are brownish-gray above and off-white below. They sit upright and perch low in trees, on fence lines or on poles. They look like they have a big head compared to other birds their size. The head can also look rather flat with a crown of dark feathers flipping up when they are interested in catching a flying insect of some sort.
Phoebes are very active, making short flights to capture insects and very often return to the same perch. Common prey include wasps, beetles, dragonflies, butterflies and moths, flies, midges, and cicadas; they also eat spiders, ticks, and millipedes, as well as occasional small fruits or seeds.
Sadly, the Eastern Phoebe is strongly parasitized by the Brown-headed Cowbird. Cowbird females will roll the Phoebe ‘s eggs and some right out of the nest and in the process, lay her own. The egg is rarely rejected by the Phoebe female. If one of the Phoebe eggs does hatch, the baby bird in a few days will usually starve because of the aggressive large baby Cowbird.
Nesting Facts for Eastern Phoebe
Number of Broods
0.7–0.8 inch; 1.8–2.1 cm
0.6–0.7 inch; 1.4–1.7 cm
Nesting facts from All About Bird
Save World Draw is proud to announce that If’igen Bico, an artist of Turkish/Greek heritage, is the new recipient of the Save World Draw’s 2016 Award, “Small Grant For Marvelous Ideas”. We will be following her new project, “Traces Left Behind” where she uses the many ways of “touch” to connect with Syrian Refugees in Greece and in Turkey.
I would like to take the opportunity to introduce her briefly to you and her work. Born in Istanbul, Turkey, she lived and worked in the United States but now continues her work between Athens & Nafplio and throughout Greece; including a few return trips to Turkey. One of her goals is to help deepen the healing process of the lingering effects of abuse with women. With Save World Draw, she will be doing this in various ways via art. One of the most exciting things Save World Draw does is collaborate with artists, writers & NGOs to explore the arts in communities with at-risk populations, including refugees.
If’igen Bico is an incredible artist and a wonderful, sensitive person. She is positive, compassionate with a big heart and a joy to be around. She will be taking on three important challenges with us:
1. Facilitating and collecting art with small groups of Syrian refugees. Some will be children, others will be women, and perhaps a few elders.
2. She will use art as a conduit to create trust, while incorporating aspects of her InTouch workshops, self care – while caring for others, to reflect the struggle and transition of these women from their homeland to safety, as an aid to lessening the effects of repeated trauma.
3. Figen is a writer, photographer and also an incredible collage-photo-painter. She will be sharing some of her work related to this project as a guest writer, summarizing her experiences with “Traces Left Behind” or via a video posted on our website.
All work done with the refugees will be credited to the participants, with their names, where they are from and their present location. It will be posted on SWD, Courageous Journey page in a photo slider. The participants can see their own work here and we hope will leave comments if they wish. Please follow us to see and hear about their courageous journey. I am sure we will learn much from Figen’s first-hand experiences with this project.
You can learn more by visiting her website:
http://Figen Bico: www.embodycare.com
Be An Angel
Please help Save World Draw support the arts in poor communities in the US & around the world. Thank you.
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