Eastern Phoebe

About the Eastern Phoebe
Also known as: Water Pewee

The Eastern Phoebe is a small flycatcher that has a grayish-brown back and wings, with a slightly darker head. Its underparts are whitish with a pale yellowish wash on the belly. This bird has a modest crest that it occasionally raises, and a thin, black bill.

The Eastern Phoebe is often found in open woodlands, farmland, and suburban areas across eastern North America. It prefers locations near water and is frequently seen perching on low branches or man-made structures. This bird is well-known for its habit of constantly wagging its tail while perched.

A proficient insectivore, the Eastern Phoebe catches insects in flight or by gleaning them from foliage. It has a distinctive, sharp "fee-bee" call, which it uses to communicate and establish territory. This call is particularly noticeable during the breeding season.

For nesting, the Eastern Phoebe chooses sheltered spots such as ledges, bridges, and building eaves. It constructs its nest from mud, moss, and plant fibers, creating a sturdy, cup-like structure. The Eastern Phoebe is one of the first flycatchers to return to its breeding grounds in spring, often reusing old nest sites.

The Eastern Phoebe migrates to the southeastern United States and Central America for the winter, showing remarkable site fidelity by returning to the same breeding and wintering locations year after year.

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2015 Bonanza Bird #9: Eastern Phoebe

Today our Birdorable Bonanza: 2015 Advent Edition continues with a New World species of tyrant flycatcher: the Eastern Phoebe! Eastern Phoebes are tyrant flycatchers that are found in eastern North America. These cuties are migratory, breeding as far north as the Northern...  Read more »

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