Black phoebe prefers living outdoors over a bird house

Black Phoebe Bird House

Phoebe Flycatcher / June 25, 2023

DEAR JOAN: Last summer a neighbor removed some evergreens and several displaced black phoebes found their way to our yard. Since then all have moved on except one; it made a home perched on a planter hook under our eaves.

I hung a small wooden house 3 feet away, but it’s not using it. The area is exposed and I wish the little bird was more protected from weather and human traffic. Any ideas?

S.M., Danville

DEAR S.: Animals are living proof that even if we build it, there’s no guarantee they will come. I’ve had lot of letters over the years from people disappointed that owls didn’t roost and bats never made a home in their respective nesting boxes.

They have their reasons, and in your case, the problem is that phoebes don’t use nesting boxes or bird houses. Instead, they anchor their mud nests on the sides of cliffs, walls and buildings, beneath a protective cover, such as your roof eaves. Despite being made of mud, the nests are sturdy. They are lined with plant material and are quite cozy.

The male shows his mate possible nesting sites by hovering in front of them for several seconds, and the female makes the decision on where to build. She will lay up to six eggs, and can have three clutches a year, although two is more common.

The birds often reuse their nests from year to year, so you may have a neighbor for years to come. If you move the bird house further away, perhaps a cavity-dwelling bird will use it.

Reading this on your phone? Stay up to date on Bay Area and Silicon Valley news with our new, free mobile app. Get it from the Apple app store or the Google Play store. DEAR JOAN: Do you have a recommendation for how to prepare food for hummingbird feeders?

I have a typical 8-ounce glass feeder with four stations. I prefer to make the food fresh each time, about once a week, rather than storing it and risking contamination or serving it cold.

The usual formula is one part sugar to four parts of water, or five parts total. Dividing 8 ounces by 5 suggests that each part is 1.6 ounces. So the sugar part works out to be just shy of a quarter cup, but in truth, I’ve used varying amounts of sugar with little or no difference in the results.

Are there times in the year when slightly more or less sugar is better?

Paul Bailey-Gates, Piedmont

DEAR PAUL: The recipe for hummers is indeed four parts water to one part sugar. If you are making a cup at a time, you’d use one cup of water and a quarter cup of sugar. The way you’ve been doing it has been making the nectar a bit on the less sweet side, which means the birds will have to drink a little more of the nectar to get the calories they need to keep humming.

As it’s only slightly less sweet, I don’t think you’ve done anything harmful. The problem with weakened sugar water is that the birds will fill up on the water before they can take in enough calories. It is sort of like humans eating too much bread before the meal arrives.

There’s only a couple of times when you would want to greatly increase the sweetness. When people are having trouble attracting hummers to their feeders, it’s recommended they temporarily increase the formula to three parts water to one of sugar to lure birds in.

What does it mean when liver enzymes are high? What is a free mason? how tp make greasy hamburger helper taste better How to block on snapchat? What is the meaning of permissive will of god? What does asportation mean? What is the meaning of bluish lips or face? What is the spiritual meaning of a seahorse? What do the stripes on the flag mean? How to get an international driving license? What does it mean to be hispanic? What is lithography? What does zealous mean? What is the meaning of hunger and thirst for righteousness? What does sciatica feel like? What does the name malti meaning? What does trait mean? How is a delivery personpaid on tips from credit card charges? What are the federal tax brackets for 2021? What does amends mean? How to get your period in one hour? how do you make hamburger helper What is the biblical meaning of guile? What are shrubs? How to remove nail extension tips? How many votes to impeach the president senate? I just took all the tricks in a double pinochle hand, what is that called? How to see what people are listening to on spotify? What does a player mean? How to make a spreadsheet? What is the meaning of the lost daughter? What kind of glue for pool cue tips? dream of mirror online how to get rid of the helper fairy What does eerie mean? What is the meaning of serves as i-512 advance parole? Tips on how to paint trim? What is the meaning of kiki? How to back up iphone to cloud? What does vermin mean? What is vsco? What does it mean to be catfished? What does gosh mean? What is a fortune 500 company? What is the meaning of kilometer? How to restart switch? How long to cook a 19 lb turkey? What does not selected mean on indeed? How to make gravy with chicken broth? What does siri look like? How to do banshee tricks halo infinite? what does an electrician's helper do? What are the 12 ivy league schools? What does lob mean? What does ultimatum mean? Why are whitefish blastula and onion root tips used for observing mitosis? quizlet? How to cook shredded chicken? How to commit to skate tricks? How to stop frequent urination in men? What does stance mean in skateboarding? What does waxing and waning mean? How to read a pulse oximeter? How to convert grams to kilograms? Why do i have tiny black dots on my finger tips? What is the meaning of thanksgiving? how to adjust scroll feed-in setlist helper What does nationality mean? What is the meaning of so so? The grandparents handbook: games, activities, tips, how-tos, and all-around fun? How to save money for a house? what is a pipeline helper What does iud stand for? What does ep stand for in music? What does heroine look like? How to smile for pictures tricks? Tips on how to learn prograaming? How long does it take a ps4 controller to charge? What nutriton do fern tips give you? What language does ukraine speak? How to get 800 credit score? What time does ted lasso come out? How to format a cover letter? What are renewable energy sources? How to come down from a high? When do i get my tips from instacart? How to bluetooth ps4 controller? Which of the following words is derived from the greek element meaning seizure? What do you mean when you say'' your not the only one with tricks up sleeve? How to mario kart tricks is to hold an item like a shell or banana behind you to block shots? What are turnips? What does domo arigato mean? What is the real meaning of black friday? how do t cells become helper or killer t cells How to dye armor in minecraft? Tricks on how to clean haze from car lights? Tips when travel with baby and toddler? How to get sticker residue off glass? Tricks to keeping your head down when hitting a golf ball? how much does driver helper makeups california where is the helper on ourworld