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May 2006


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Richard Harlow <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Vermont Birds <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 24 May 2006 04:19:10 -0400
text/plain (32 lines)

I have a bizarre event that I would like some help on since I have never
seen this before.
We have a pair of Phoebes that have made a nest over and outdoor motion
sensitive light that is under the eve of a shed roof.  The nest has 5 eggs
in it.
Yesterday, when I opened the shed, I noticed the tail of a bird sticking out
of the nest and a longer than normal wing coming from one side.  Normally
when I arrive at the shed the Phoebe leaves the nest well before I get near
it and stays off till I get what I'm after, and then when I leave she comes
back.  However, this bird, the one on the nest, was not moving.  Something
was wrong!
When I investigated, I found that it wasn't a Phoebe at all but a Cliff
Swallow facing toward the shed, in the nest, and dead.
1.    This is the first time we have ever had a Cliff Swallow around here.
2.    Why didn't the Phoebe kick this bird out of the nest?
3.    A Phoebe was seen flying around when I removed the Cliff Swallow, BUT
the eggs were cool.
4.    Should I remove the eggs to encourage the Phoebe to lay another
clutch, or will they abandon the nest anyway?
5.    Any ideas as to why this event happened, or why it might have occurred
in the first place.

Richard Harlow
Chittenden County
Milton, VT
Arrowhead Lake Area
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