Jul 08 2008
Big words for a little bird.
When Chuck Tague sent me this photo of a newly fledged eastern phoebe, my first reaction was, “Cute bird but where’s his tail?” And on second thought, “His wings are short, too.”
According to Cornell’s Birds of North America Online, “At normal fledging time, [eastern phoebe] fledglings fly well and are fully feathered. Dimensions, such as weight and tarsus length, approximates that of the adult, but rectrices and remiges are considerably shorter.”
I had to look that up.
Rectrices are tail feathers (both words have a “T” in them). Remiges are wing feathers. Tarsus is the lowest part of the leg.
Eastern phoebes are flycatchers, known for wagging and pumping their tails. Phoebe Baby is missing his distinguishing feature. I hope he grows his tail soon.
(photo by Chuck Tague)