Jim Gain’s “Reflections of the Natural World” is one of the finest sources for nature’s beauty and bounty anywhere. His images of birds are especially inspiring. We’re proud to publish his ongoing series, “Learn 100 Common Valley Birds.” Here is post #15 in that series.
The Black Phoebe is a dapper flycatcher of the Central Valley with a sooty black body and crisp white belly. They sit in the open on low perches to scan for insects, often keeping up a running series of shrill chirps. Black Phoebes are Common Year-round Residents and conspicuous near sources of water and around human development.
Black Phoebes forage by watching from a perch and darting out to catch insects, often just above water. They can catch insects in mid-air, hover while gleaning them from foliage, and sometimes pick them from the water’s surface. They may also take insects from the ground, especially in cool weather.
Black Phoebes use mud to build cup-shaped nests against walls, overhangs, culverts, and bridges. Look for them near any water source from small streams, to pools, canals, and small lakes in the suburbs.
The male Black Phoebe gives the female a tour of potential nest sites, hovering in front of each likely spot for 5 to 10 seconds. However, the female makes the final decision and does all the nest construction.
We humans can take a lesson from birds in natural habitats. They gather nesting material and make a cozy place to bed. It is the most natural thing to expect them to do for themselves.
They do not have to satisfy a Board of Supervisors, a Planning Commissioner, a Building Inspector, a Board of Assessors, a Tax Regime, a City Counsel and Manager, etcetera, in order to EARN peace of mind and security.
They just pick a spot and bed down. My my how things have been PERMITed to be so complicated and expensive. We certainly have undone ourselves.
In years past locating a place to live was so much simpler. Consider the birds of the air, they do not worry about what tomorrow will bring, their Creator has counted every feather on their head, and knows what they have need of.
Our basic needs are easily met, it was when we got to fussying about what tomorrow would bring that we lost track of simplicity. Here and now, we cannot even house a few thousand human beings, because we have our heads in a future, which may not even come forth tomorrow, yet, every teeney frivolous thing must be just so in the scheme of things or else what?
They tell me, over and over, again, that the best laid plans of men…are questionable at best.
Jim Gain, Phoebe, is a beautiful creature, despite his and her sooty adornment…