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Tower Hill Reserve
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Nest of Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe).  Eastern Phoebes are one of the first bird species to migrate back to New Jersey in mid-March.  These gray flycatchers can be easily identified in spring by their tail-bobbing and “fee-bee” call.  They usually nest on cliff edges, under bridges, or in covered porches or open outbuildings like this springhouse.  They construct their nests out of mud and moss.  Unlike many other songbirds, phoebes will sometimes reuse their nests year to year, or Barn Swallows can use them as well.  Also, phoebes will renovate and use old nests of Barn Swallows and American Robins. 

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Photographs by Valerie Lykes