Tucson Wildlife Center admitted 4 Say’s Phoebes last week , and they are doing great! Say’s Phoebes are a medium-sized song bird in the Flycatcher family, found commonly from Alaska to Mexico. They prefer open grasslands but can often be found making use of man-made structures, and are very comfortable around people. They catch many small insects in flight, as well as gleaning them off of vegetation. They have a beautiful song of a low “pit-tsee”eerr!” or a spunky “Churr-eep!” But also much like an owl, they will make a clacking noise as a warning.
Adults can be identified by their pale brownish/gray underparts,and striking cinnamon belly and undertail .They nest on rock ledges or caves,or can be quite adaptable to buildings or under bridges.Females build a nest using grasses,feathers,and even spider webs! She then lays a clutch of 307 white eggs with red spots.Incubation is 12-14 days,an once the young hatch,both parents work to keep them fed.The young leave the nest after only 14-16 days after hatching,and the parents have 1-2 brood a year.
We also had the pleasure of raising a fledgling American Robin! This well known early bird is a common sight in much of North America, but not often seen here in Arizona.On the occasion that they are spotted, it is usually up in the mountain areas, with forest habitat .While Arizona does have a stable population of these birds, we rarely get babies in. This little one will be well cared for until he is old enough to be released. Robins are primarily insectivores but in winter they also enjoy a variety of fruits, if found. One of their favorites are honeysuckle berries,which can actually leave them intoxicated!Their call almost sounds like they are saying “cheerily cheer up” and is easily recognized. They use a sharp “yeep” or”peek!” as an alarm call. Adults are easily recognized by the iconic Red Breast.They are largest thrush in North America,and build huge nests ,that the female builds from the inside out,using grasses and feathers.Once shaped to her satisfaction,she then uses mud made of worm castings to make a safe,sturdy nest.She lays a clue of 3-5 bluish eggs.Incubation is around 2 weeks,and the nestlings head out on their own after 12-14 days.Robins typically have 2 broods a year.