Davey Walters Photography

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Bird of the Week #6

Posted on November 22, 2014 at 9:35 AM

This week's Bird of the Week is the Eastern Phoebe. A lovely flycatcher, the phoebe frequents backyards across eastern North America. It is best recognized by its lack of fieldmarks, and although it is a rather drab brown bird, it has a tell-tail habit of pumping and fanning its tail up and down. The young are perhaps more interesting than the adults, with the same brown tones, but a yellow wash across the breast and a faint eye-ring that gives them a ‘surprised’ look. Although drab at first glance, after a season of having a pair nest under your deck, they develop a certain personality, or at least we humans assign them one. The phoebe does not come to feeders, because its main diet is insects, and it returns south come winter.

Eastern Phoebe

Sayornis pheobe



Shape: small and slim, with a thin bill.

Color Pattern: light brown overall with the suggestion of wing-bars; often faint eye-ring.

Habitat: open areas such ranging from fields to open woods; also backyards.

Voice: male gives distinctive 4 note fee-bee, fee-bay song in spring and summer; females and young give sharp cheep call.


Photos and text by Davey Walters. Copyright 2014.

Categories: birds, photography, Bird of the Week

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