Overview

Brief Summary

Sayornis phoebe

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.

Threat Status: Least concern

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Unknown

Supplier: DC Birds

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Distribution

occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Breeding

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) BREEDING: northeastern British Columbia and western and southern Mackenzie southeast to Great Lakes region, east to Nova Scotia, south to southern Alberta, southwestern South Dakota, central Texas, Arkansas, central Alabama, and South Carolina. NON-BREEDING: Chihuahua, central Texas, Gulf states, and Virginia south to southern Mexico.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Geographic Range

The breeding range of the Eastern Phoebe extends from northern Canada down into the southeastern U.S. It winters primarily in the southeastern U.S., with especially heavy concentrations in Texas and Florida. The winter range can also reach well into Mexico. It has only been recorded twice outside of North America, both times in 1987 in Great Britain (Weeks, 1994).

Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Native )

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: BioKIDS Critter Catalog

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Range

Breeds e Canada and US; winters to se Mexico.

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Geographic Range

The breeding range of the Eastern Phoebe extends from northern Canada down into the southeastern U.S. It winters primarily in the southeastern U.S., with especially heavy concentrations in Texas and Florida. The winter range can also reach well into Mexico. It has only been recorded twice outside of North America, both times in 1987 in Great Britain (Weeks, 1994).

Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Native )

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

The Eastern Phoebe is medium-sized flycatcher, dull in coloration to blend in with its surrounding woodland habitat. It ranges from 142-168 mm, and the male is generally larger than the female. The plumage of the male also tends to be darker, but neither of these characteristics is a failsafe means of determining the bird's sex. The upperparts of the adults are olive or grayish-brown, and the underparts tend to be pale buff. Juveniles have white bars on their wings. The bill is black (Terres, 1980; Weeks, 1994).

Average mass: 21.6 g.

Average basal metabolic rate: 0.3449 W.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: BioKIDS Critter Catalog

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Physical Description

The Eastern Phoebe is medium-sized flycatcher, dull in coloration to blend in with its surrounding woodland habitat. It ranges from 142-168 mm, and the male is generally larger than the female. The plumage of the male also tends to be darker, but neither of these characteristics is a failsafe means of determining the bird's sex. The upperparts of the adults are olive or grayish-brown, and the underparts tend to be pale buff. Juveniles have white bars on their wings. The bill is black (Terres, 1980; Weeks, 1994).

Average mass: 21.6 g.

Average basal metabolic rate: 0.3449 W.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Size

Length: 18 cm

Weight: 20 grams

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Ecology

Habitat

Comments: Open woodland, situations with scattered trees, farmlands, and suburbs, usually near water. Nests on cliffs, banks, or in ravines in open and riparian woodland or farmland with scattered trees; under bridges and eaves; in culverts or wells; sometimes in buildings. May renovate old nest, such as that of the barn swallow or phoebe. Formerly, natural sites were used; now nests mainly on human-built structures.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Habitat and Ecology

Systems
  • Terrestrial
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

The Eastern Phoebe occurs in woodlands and in woody vegetation. They seem to prefer deciduous woodlands, and perhaps edge forest, and open habitats rather than mature or closed forests. There is some evidence that they prefer to be near water, but the availability of suitable nesting habitat limits them more often than preference (Weeks, 1994).

Terrestrial Biomes: forest

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: BioKIDS Critter Catalog

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

The Eastern Phoebe occurs in woodlands and in woody vegetation. They seem to prefer deciduous woodlands, and perhaps edge forest, and open habitats rather than mature or closed forests. There is some evidence that they prefer to be near water, but the availability of suitable nesting habitat limits them more often than preference (Weeks, 1994).

Terrestrial Biomes: forest

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Migration

Non-Migrant: No. All populations of this species make significant seasonal migrations.

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

Breeding populations in Canada and most of U.S. migrate south for winter. Arrives in breeding areas March-April. Present all year in part of southern U.S.; migratory status in those areas?

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Trophic Strategy

Comments: Eats mainly insects caught by flycatching (also picks insects from foliage and from ground via short flight from perch in tree or shrub), also eats some small fruits and seeds in cooler months (Bent 1942); sometimes also small frogs or fishes.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Food Habits

The Eastern Phoebe is predominantly insectivorous, consuming mostly flying insects such as wasps, ants, flies and wild bees. Invertebrates such as grasshoppers, airborn spiders, hairworms from the water and even small fishes from shallow water round out their diet. It has been observed that it can survive on fruit when insects are unavailable. Flycatching is its main means of obtaining food, usually done from a perch less than 10 meters off the ground. It also occasionally chases flying insects to the ground, pounces on insects on the ground, and picks insects from trees while hovering. Its most active foraging period occurs in the morning (Terres, 1980; Weeks, 1994).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: BioKIDS Critter Catalog

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Food Habits

The Eastern Phoebe is predominantly insectivorous, consuming mostly flying insects such as wasps, ants, flies and wild bees. Invertebrates such as grasshoppers, airborn spiders, hairworms from the water and even small fishes from shallow water round out their diet. It has been observed that it can survive on fruit when insects are unavailable. Flycatching is its main means of obtaining food, usually done from a perch less than 10 meters off the ground. It also occasionally chases flying insects to the ground, pounces on insects on the ground, and picks insects from trees while hovering. Its most active foraging period occurs in the morning (Terres, 1980; Weeks, 1994).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Life History and Behavior

Life Expectancy

Lifespan/Longevity

Average lifespan

Status: wild:
124 months.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: BioKIDS Critter Catalog

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Lifespan/Longevity

Average lifespan

Status: wild:
124 months.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 10.3 years
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Joao Pedro de Magalhaes

Source: AnAge

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Reproduction

Clutch size 3-8 (commonly 5). Usually 2 broods per year, sometimes 3. Incubation 14-17 days, by female. Young tended by both parents (Condor 95:57-62), leave nest at 15-17 days, fed by parents for 2-3 weeks more. See Hill and Gates (1988) for information on nesting success. Common cowbird host (may cover cowbird egg with nest material).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

The Eastern Phoebe is monogamous and usually double-brooded. Pair formation occurs quickly after they arrive on the breeding grounds in spring. No recurrent courtship displays have been documented. The female always initiates copulation, usually in the mornings only, during the male's pre-dawn song. After pairs are formed, nest-building begins immediately, which helps them to establish territory. The female chooses the nest site. She alone builds it, though the male is with her continuously while she builds, most likely guarding his mate. The nests are made of mud, moss, some leaves, and lined with fine grass, stems and hair. Phoebes often reuse nests, of their own species or another species, though never without renovating them first. They also often build over old eggs or dead young. The nests are always built with cover overhead. Suitable nesting habitat for Eastern Phoebes is limited, so there is strong site attachment in this species. Often the same pair will breed at the same site for several successive years. Eastern phoebes keep the same nest and same mate for both broods. The laying of the first clutch usually begins 7-14 days after the nest is complete. The clutch can be 2-6, but usually 5 eggs are laid. The eggs are white with little gloss, and they sometimes have a few reddish-brown dots on one end. Incubation lasts about 16 days, less for the second brood which occurs in summer. Incubation is carried out solely by the female, and the male does not feed her while she sits. Most eggs hatch within a 24-hour period, and the female removes the eggshells from the nest immediately afterwards. Though the chicks are able to fly by day 15, they usually do not fledge until day 16 or 18. Both males and females feed the young. The young are capable of breeding in their first year.

The Eastern Phoebe is strongly parasitized by the Brown-headed Cowbird. Cowbird females often remove phoebe eggs in the process of leaving their own, and the egg is rarely rejected by the phoebe female. In most of these nests only the cowbird egg hatches, but if the phoebe egg does hatch, it will do so a few days later and the phoebe chick will usually starve. The fledgling success of cowbirds in parasitized phoebe nests is about 60-70%, about the same rate of success as phoebes in unparasitized nests (Weeks, 1994).

Average time to hatching: 16 days.

Average eggs per season: 5.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: BioKIDS Critter Catalog

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

The Eastern Phoebe is monogamous and usually double-brooded. Pair formation occurs quickly after they arrive on the breeding grounds in spring. No recurrent courtship displays have been documented. The female always initiates copulation, usually in the mornings only, during the male's pre-dawn song. After pairs are formed, nest-building begins immediately, which helps them to establish territory. The female chooses the nest site. She alone builds it, though the male is with her continuously while she builds, most likely guarding his mate. The nests are made of mud, moss, some leaves, and lined with fine grass, stems and hair. Phoebes often reuse nests, of their own species or another species, though never without renovating them first. They also often build over old eggs or dead young. The nests are always built with cover overhead. Suitable nesting habitat for Eastern Phoebes is limited, so there is strong site attachment in this species. Often the same pair will breed at the same site for several successive years. Eastern phoebes keep the same nest and same mate for both broods. The laying of the first clutch usually begins 7-14 days after the nest is complete. The clutch can be 2-6, but usually 5 eggs are laid. The eggs are white with little gloss, and they sometimes have a few reddish-brown dots on one end. Incubation lasts about 16 days, less for the second brood which occurs in summer. Incubation is carried out solely by the female, and the male does not feed her while she sits. Most eggs hatch within a 24-hour period, and the female removes the eggshells from the nest immediately afterwards. Though the chicks are able to fly by day 15, they usually do not fledge until day 16 or 18. Both males and females feed the young. The young are capable of breeding in their first year.

The Eastern Phoebe is strongly parasitized by the Brown-headed Cowbird. Cowbird females often remove phoebe eggs in the process of leaving their own, and the egg is rarely rejected by the phoebe female. In most of these nests only the cowbird egg hatches, but if the phoebe egg does hatch, it will do so a few days later and the phoebe chick will usually starve. The fledgling success of cowbirds in parasitized phoebe nests is about 60-70%, about the same rate of success as phoebes in unparasitized nests (Weeks, 1994).

Average time to hatching: 16 days.

Average eggs per season: 5.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Sayornis phoebe

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There is 1 barcode sequence available from BOLD and GenBank.   Below is the sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.  See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen.  Other sequences that do not yet meet barcode criteria may also be available.

TCTATACCTAATCTTTGGTGCCTGAGCCGGTATGATTGGTACCGCCCTAAGCCTCCTTATTCGAGCAGAACTTGGACAACCAGGAACCCTCCTAGGAGATGATCAAATTTACAACGTAATCGTTACTGCTCATGCCTTCGTAATAATCTTCTTTATAGTAATACCTATTATAATTGGAGGGTTCGGTAACTGACTAGTCCCCCTAATAATTGGTGCTCCAGACATAGCATTCCCTCGTATAAACAACATAAGCTTCTGACTCCTACCTCCATCCTTCCTCCTTCTCTTAGCCTCATCCACAGTCGAAGCCGGAGCAGGCACCGGATGAACTGTATACCCTCCACTAGCTGGTAATCTAGCACACGCTGGAGCTTCAGTAGACCTAGCTATTTTTTCCCTTCATCTAGCAGGTGTCTCCTCAATCCTAGGAGCTATTAACTTCATTACTACTGCAATTAATATAAAACCCCCCGCCCTATCCCAATATCAGACTCCATTATTTGTTTGATCCGTCCTAATTACCGCAGTTCTCCTCCTTCTCTCCCTACCAGTCCTCGCTGCCGGTATCACCATGCTATTAACAGACCGTAACCTCAACACTACATTCTTTGACCCTGCAGGAGGTGGAGACCCAGTCCTATACCAACATCTCTTCTGATTCTTTGGCCACNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
-- end --

Download FASTA File
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Sayornis phoebe

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 4
Species With Barcodes: 1
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N5B - Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5B,N5N : N5B: Secure - Breeding, N5N: Secure - Nonbreeding

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Butchart, S. & Symes, A.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

The Eastern phoebe is very tolerant of human presence. The growing use of man-made structures as substitute nest sites has greatly facilitated their expansion across North America (Weeks).

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern

US Migratory Bird Act: protected

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: no special status

State of Michigan List: no special status

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: BioKIDS Critter Catalog

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

The Eastern phoebe is very tolerant of human presence. The growing use of man-made structures as substitute nest sites has greatly facilitated their expansion across North America (Weeks).

US Migratory Bird Act: protected

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: no special status

State of Michigan List: no special status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Global Short Term Trend: Relatively stable (=10% change)

Comments: No clear regional trends in abundance (see Ehrlich et al. 1992).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Population

Population Trend
Increasing
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Threats

Comments: In Maryland, predation (probably mainly by eastern chipmunk) accounted for most nesting losses (Hill and Gates 1988).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Management

Restoration Potential: See Mitchell (1988) for specifications for the construction and placement of nest shelves.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

Phoebes sometimes nest near man-made structures, and it is sometimes necessary to remove their nests due to potential health problems associated with mites in the nests and droppings beneath the nest (Weeks).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: BioKIDS Critter Catalog

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Phoebes feed on some species of insects that are harmful.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: BioKIDS Critter Catalog

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

Phoebes sometimes nest near man-made structures, and it is sometimes necessary to remove their nests due to potential health problems associated with mites in the nests and droppings beneath the nest (Weeks).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Phoebes feed on some species of insects that are harmful.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Wikipedia

Eastern phoebe

The eastern phoebe (Sayornis phoebe) is a small passerine bird. This tyrant flycatcher breeds in eastern North America, although its normal range does not include the southeastern coastal United States.

It is migratory, wintering in the southernmost United States and Central America. It is a very rare vagrant to western Europe. This is one of the first birds to return to the breeding grounds in spring and one of the last to leave in the fall. They arrive for breeding in mid-late March, but they return to winter quarters around the same time when other migrant songbirds do, in September and early October; migration times have stayed the same in the last 100 years.[2][3]

This species appears remarkably big-headed, especially if it puffs up the small crest. Its plumage is gray-brown above. It has a white throat, dirty gray breast and buffish underparts which become whiter during the breeding season. Two indistinct buff bars are present on each wing. Its lack of an eye ring and wingbars, and its all dark bill distinguish it from other North American tyrant flycatchers, and it pumps its tail up and down like other phoebes when perching on a branch. The eastern phoebe's call is a sharp chip, and the song, from which it gets its name, is fee-bee.

The eastern wood pewee (Contopus virens) is extremely similar in appearance and voice. It lacks the buff hue usually present on the lighter parts of the eastern phoebe's plumage, and thus has always clearly defined and contrasting wing-bars. It also does not bob its tail habitually, and appears on the breeding grounds much later though it leaves for winter quarters at about the same time as the eastern phoebe.[3]

The breeding habitat of the eastern phoebe is open woodland, farmland and suburbs, often near water. This phoebe is insectivorous, and often perches conspicuously when seeking food items. It also eats fruits and berries in cooler weather.

It often nests on human structures such as bridges and buildings. Nesting activity may start as early as the first days of April.[2] The nest is an open cup with a mud base and lined with moss and grass, built in crevice in a rock or man-made site; two to six eggs are laid. Both parents feed the young and usually raise two broods per year. The eastern phoebe is occasionally host to the nest-parasitic brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater).

Photo gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Sayornis phoebe". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Henninger, W.F. (1906). "A preliminary list of the birds of Seneca County, Ohio". Wilson Bull. 18 (2): 47–60. 
  3. ^ a b Ohio Ornithological Society (2004): Annotated Ohio state checklist.
Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Source: Wikipedia

Unreviewed

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Disclaimer

EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!