A sparrow-sized (6 ½ -7 inches) flycatcher, the Eastern Phoebe is most easily identified by its gray-green body, pale breast, and notched tail. This species is most easily distinguished from the similarly patterned Eastern Wood-Pewee (Contopus virens) by that species’ conspicuous white wing bars. Male and female Eastern Phoebes are similar to one another in all seasons. The Eastern Phoebe breeds across much of the northeastern United States and south-central Canada. In winter, this species may be found in the southeastern U.S.and northern Mexico. Eastern Phoebes are present all year in portions of the interior southeast and the Mid-Atlantic. Eastern Phoebes breed in a variety of forest habitats, including forests with deciduous trees, evergreen trees, or a mix of both. This species generally utilizes similarly-structured habitats in winter as in summer. Eastern Phoebes primarily eat small flying insects, but may also eat fruits and berries during the winter and on migration when insects are unavailable. In eastern forests in summer, the Eastern Phoebe may be most easily observed flying out from high perches to capture insect prey. This species may also be observed on a high perch singing its characteristic ‘phoe-be’ song. Eastern Phoebes are primarily active during the day.
- Weeks Jr., Harmon P. 2011. Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America Online: http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna/species/094
- Peterson, Roger Tory. Birds of Eastern and Central North America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1980. Print.
- eBird Range Map - Eastern Phoebe. eBird. Cornell Lab of Ornithology, N.d. Web. 20 July 2012. http://ebird.org/ebird/map/easpho.
- Sayornis phoebe. Xeno-canto. Xeno-canto Foundation, n.d. Web. 20 July 2012. http://xeno-canto.org/browse.php?query=Sayornis+phoebe.
- Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe). The Internet Bird Collection. Lynx Edicions, n.d. Web. 20 July 2012. http://ibc.lynxeds.com/species/eastern-phoebe-sayornis-phoebe.
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