Photo Friday: Smolt Spy Surprise

Black Phoebe Nest with eggs

We regularly perform maintenance on automated fish counting systems, such as the Smolt Spy we built for Los Padres Reservoir, to make sure they are running well. But when our staff recently opened the hatch covering the Smolt Spy unit at the reservoir’s fish collector, they were in for a surprise – a resourceful bird had built a nest above the camera mount!  Our wildlife biologist identified the nest as belonging to a Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans), and sure enough, the bird in question soon appeared. Our team made sure to wrap up their work quickly to leave the nest undisturbed. We always enjoy spotting signs of other species that we share space with!

Black Phoebe Nest above Smolt Spy