New Phoebe

When my niece was born, her paternal grandfather decided to call her New Phoebe.

This he did to distinguish her from another Phoebe, born some time ago. Which is to say, his daughter Phoebe.  Which is to say, me!

Today is New Phoebe’s birthday.  I pay tribute:


Phoebe turns 26

By Aunt Phoebe


Lore from my bird books:

Eastern Phoebe, found in open areas, usually near water




They choose low, conspicuous perches

and dip their tails in a characteristic motion.

Persistent tail-wagging is a sure call.




From their perch they dart out to snag a tasty insect, then return.


Eastern phoebe.jpg


Nest:  A cup of mud, moss, grass, on ledge, bridge, building.

Eggs, 4-5, white



Song of two rough, whistled phrases usually alternated

Seeeriddip, seebrrr, seeriddip, seebrr…;

also gives clear, whistled weewor tiboo

and abrupt wijik


Common call a distinctive simple chip: high, clear, and descending.


04-10-11_001_EAPH (1).jpg


I have a niece named Phoebe

Near the Pacific she doth dwell

Dipping and wagging her tail

What she’s thinking, who can tell?


I imagine she’s living her life

Though perhaps the days seem long

Doing her very best

To sing her special song


Bright eye, white throat, dear head

Dreaming of purpose divine

Tuning her voice to what’s hers to sing

As surely she doth shine


So Seeeriddip, weew and tiboo

and a chip for punctuation

A happy birthday to you

With lots of jubilation!



Aunt Phoebe




Author: Phoebe Dishman

Phoebe H. Dishman was born and raised in Beaumont, Texas. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother. An essayist and poet, she teaches adult Sunday school, compiles a monthly prayer calendar, edits the Big Thicket Association quarterly bulletin, and keeps a keen eye and ear open for birds.

2 thoughts on “New Phoebe”

  1. Happy Birthday New Phoebe. I’ll never forget the day I said her name in my class. Talk about weird. Wish I had known about New Phoebe though she probably wouldn’t have appreciated it at school.


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