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.
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.
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!