Last spring, I saw a strange-acting little bird perched on a well-worn stump. I learned later it was a Black Phoebe. It fluttered on its perch and frequently flew out, made a circle or two, then flew right back to the stump. A few minutes later, it made another foray out and back again. Alone on the trail, I had a good vantage point from one of the new footbridges. I pulled out the camera, and elbows on top of the railing, focused and photographed. Even though I have the _*Sibley Bird App* on my phone, I never try to identify birds in the field. I put all my concentration into getting the best shot possible. Then when I get home, I put the photo up on the computer screen and ponder over my books and phone app. Sitting down. With coffee.
The Black Phoebe is a little bird
Just 7 inches long with a wingspan of 11 inches. That’s amazing enough, but when I consider the entire bird weighs in at 0.67 ounces (or should I say ounce?), it’s jaw-dropping. To me, when I see a small bird, I get it. It’s small. My eyes tell me it is small and Sibley’s statistics bear up my observation. The part that is hard to fathom is the weight of the little critter. A little over half an ounce! Quickly, let’s review the math. [1st – 1 cup of water weighs 8 ounces.] [2nd – Logic tells us, then, 1/8 cup weighs 1 ounce.] [3rd – There are 2 Tablespoons-full of water in 1/8 cup, or 2 Tablespoons-full of water in 1 ounce.] [4th – 1 Tablespoon of water weighs 1/2 or 50% of 1 ounce.] So, you could say a Black Phoebe’s kitchen weight is a little more than a Tablespoon and a half of water. Measure it out and see for yourself and you will be as amazed as I am. Really. It’s a wonder that gust of wind didn’t blow the bird right off that high branch. It might have done so, but for those tiny tough talons.
I saved the best information for last. You know those little flights the bird took? I mentioned them at the beginning. Well, Black Phoebe is a flycatcher! If you detest flies as much as I do, you will love this little bird. Until Next Time. JStC