Date: 8/12/17 6:27 am
From: Frank Enders (via carolinabirds Mailing List) <carolinabirds...>
Subject: Phoebe locally moved
Two mornings ago I had a phoebe out of place, at least not where they breed locally. It was close to good habitat, near a ditch which was draining at edge of wood near a shed.

Migratory, premigratory of local movement in evidence. Nice bird as it was naked eye view, not shy at all, good light, etc.

It was where I have a recurring fly problem (fleshflies, now mostly wiped out); as I believe that where there is a resource, a consumer will appear (woodchuck in my corn; robins in my figs), I still have not noticed any bird coming in when I get a hatch of a cloud of carrionflies (blue- or green-bottle); this phoebe is the closest I have had, and while there are thousands of dead flies on the ground at this composter, there are now not enough live flies, definitely no cloud!

Usually the birds at the dead poultry composter are White-throats, and I think it is the little green beetles that live in the composter and some of the chick beetles (Alphitobius diaperinus--species comes into the composter with dead birds and caked litter, but dies out soon) that are the sparrows' food. Some Myrtle Warblers have gone into the composter, as also Carolina Wrens in winter, mainly.

What I would expect to eat carrion flies would be Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, but they are not locally common! Crows sometimes work the composter area, and while I assume they are looking for pieces of meat, one cannot exclude them eating larvae, pupae or even unmoving (pretty inactive) flesh flies.

Frank Enders, Halifax, NC

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