[CT Birds] Odd Phoebe encounter

opposablechums at aol.com opposablechums at aol.com
Thu Sep 9 13:34:58 EDT 2010

 At around 8:30 last night, I attempted to close a sticky back door and, in the process, slammed it loudly.  Immediately, I heard an odd fluttering sound, and looked up to see a Phoebe scrambling up and down the screen of a nearby window, seemingly trying to get in.  It would flutter crazily for a bit, and then come to rest either on the window sill or clinging mid-screen.  I could see it breathing extremely deeply and rapidly.

I looked for but could not find anything that might be entangling the bird.  I then turned off the light, thinking that it might have been confusing the bird.  No change; the bird was in a panic.  After a while, I started to whistle a lame Phoebe song, thinking it might calm the bird.  It actually seemed to work; the bird stopped fluttering around, and sat breathing heavily on the sill, watching me carefully.

After about 5 minutes, as I drew steadily but slowly closer to see if I could discern what the problem was, the bird fluttered backwards and down to the patio out of sight.  I decided against possibly panicking the bird further by going out with a flashlight to see if it was still there.  In the morning, there was no sign of it, nor were there any feathers or blood.

There was no yellowish wash on the bird's flanks, which Peterson and Sibley would have you think might be present on an immature bird.

Does anyone have an idea as to what I might have been witnessing?

Thanks in advance.


-Jason Kessler

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