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Re: phoebe nest in defiance of gravity

I have observed Phoebes making trip after trip to mud holes while building
their nests where I live in the mountains, but I have never dissected a nest
to check it out

Don Patterson
Mt. Mitchell Lands
Yancey County NC

----- Original Message -----
From: Randy Dunson <rdunson@mindspring.com>
To: Travis, Ginger <Ginger@athena.dev.unc.edu>; <carolinabirds@duke.edu>
Sent: Thursday, April 26, 2001 6:39 PM
Subject: RE: phoebe nest in defiance of gravity

> Ginger--
> I've never heard of a vertical phoebe's nest either, but can tell you that
> the phoebe that has now nested twice in an eave of my front porch, the
> is extremely strong & durable.  I don't know what other materials they use
> beside twigs, etc., but it's like the nest is cemented to the eave.
> Randy Dunson
> Hillsborough  NC
> -----Original Message-----
> From: carolinabirds-owner@acpub.duke.edu
> [mailto:carolinabirds-owner@acpub.duke.edu]On Behalf Of Travis, Ginger
> Sent: Thursday, April 26, 2001 2:17 PM
> To: 'carolinabirds@duke.edu'
> Subject: phoebe nest in defiance of gravity
> I've read that phoebes have an affinity for bridges and nest under them.
> I always assumed that they made their nests on top of a horizontal surface
> in the bridge structure, such as a crossbeam. The few phoebes' nests I've
> ever seen (not under bridges) were all on top of something -- a light
> fixture or a beam.
> So I was very surprised while kayaking on the Eno River to see a phoebe
> to a nest that was attached to a smooth vertical concrete wall under the
> Mill Rd. bridge (Durham County). Basically the nest looked like a barn
> swallow's except that it was made of vegetable matter and not mud. When I
> paddled over for a closer look I thought I might find the phoebe's nest
> supported by an old barn swallow nest, but all I could see was a few old
> daubers' chambers under one side of the nest. I'm guessing this mud
> the needed anchor point for the phoebe to attach a nest to -- though it
> didn't look like enough to build on.
> Have other folks seen a phoebe's nest clinging to a vertical surface? How
> you think the bird gets it to stay up?
> Ginger_Travis
> Chapel Hill, N.C.