[midvalleybirds] Black Phoebes apparently nest-building at E.E. Wilson Wildlife Area

clearwater at peak.org clearwater at peak.org
Thu Mar 26 18:45:35 PDT 2020

It's been 18 years since Floyd Schrock documented a full cycle of nesting by a pair of Black Phoebes near Dayton, but this species still seems "new" for the mid-Willamette region. 

Today on a walk over to E.E. Wilson Wildlife Area, I checked one of the old World War II era movie theater foundations and found a pair of Black Phoebes. One of them (presumably the male, by behavior) made a couple of display flights, singing in mid-air while fanning his tail. Both of them made multiple trips to the underside of the concrete stage from the old theater, apparently working on a nest though I couldn't scrunch myself down far enough to see it. 

Although that foundation now holds a pool of water, the nearby wetlands are still amazingly low on water, for this time of year. One Greater Yellowlegs was using a small puddle on the west side of the wildlife area, but otherwise there is very little habitat for migrant shorebirds, at least in the south end. I don't think I've ever seen so little water out there, at this point in March. 

Joel Geier 
Camp Adair area north of Corvallis 

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