|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.
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.