When is Phoebe not Phoebe?

Why, when she’s Momma Junco!

I do have phoebes nesting under my porch, as I do every year, so when I was being yelled at by birds when I opened my door, I just assumed it was all phoebes. When I actually looked, it was clear that it was a junco that had made her nest in my wreath. I should have been tipped off by that last photo, since phoebes have dark beaks and juncos have light beaks, but it didn’t click in my brain.
junco mom
Here’s momma junco in the honeysuckle vine near her babies (or maybe it’s pappa – I can’t tell the difference), not at all happy that I’m in the vicinity.

I must say, from her perspective, the wreath probably looked like a really sweet location. That honeysuckle vine is only about 10′ away from the wreath, so brand new flyers don’t have to go far. And it’s thick enough that parents bringing food can hide effectively, so babies will certainly be able to disappear in it when needed. I bet you can’t really see her in here, even though I’ve circled her hiding place.
junco hiding

junco babies
And here are the little bitty juncos. We can clearly see two babies; there may be a third hiding in the background. I’ll keep an eye on them so I can move that wreath as soon as these babies have fledged.

Your turn – anybody raising babies in or near your house?

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