The phoebes have returned to nest above my porchlight again this year. This is my sign of spring. There is only room there for a single nest, sitting right on top of the lampshade, and I just leave it for them to come sweep out and move back in every year. It has rendered my porch light useless, of course, but I would just as soon have the pleasure of the phoebes' company as the illumination of my porch. They've come back every year, with the one exception of the year of the rabies epidemic that decimated the wildlife in my wooded area. That year there was nothing around -- no deer, wild turkeys, coyotes, even very few songbirds. That was several years ago, and since then the wildlife has struggled back pretty much to normal. We had chickadees, robins and cardinals all year, of course, but the phoebes' presence signals to me a healthy new season. Welcome back, guys!