Eastern Phoebe

Eastern Phoebe

Eastern Phoebe
(Sayornis phoebe)

Order:  Passeriformes
Family:  Tyrannidae

Photo © Brian Kushner | Dreamstime

Eastern Phoebe Information

Length:  5.5 - 7"

Breeding Habitat:  Nests in farmyards, under bridges, in culverts, in rock outcroppings, and under eaves of buildings.

Nest site is located near semi-open woodlands or forest edges, often near running water.

Diet:  Flying insects including wasps, flying ants, and bees. Also spiders, millipedes, and ticks. Small fruits and seeds during the cooler months.

  Songs and calls of the Eastern Phoebe

     Photo of Eastern Phoebe at Nest

Additional Information

Eastern Phoebe
Habitat, diet, feeding behavior, nesting, migration, and conservation status of this bird. Includes range map, photos, and songs and calls. (From Audubon Field Guide)

Eastern Phoebe

Eastern Phoebe

Photo © Mike Danzenbaker

Eastern Phoebe
Identification Tips

  • Dark head
  • Pale throat and underparts-whitish in Spring, yellowish in Fa
  • Grayish-olive upperparts
  • Frequently wags tail
  • Juvenile has buffy wing bars
  • Often builds nest under bridges or around buildings near water

(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)

Breeding Bird Survey Map,

Eastern Phoebe Breeding Map

(Image credit: USGS)

Range in New England

The Eastern Phoebe breeds throughout New England. This bird winters mainly in the southeastern U.S. and parts of Mexico. The first spring migrants usually arrive in New England in March.

Winter Map from eBird

Sightings of the Eastern Phoebe Nov-Feb over last 10 years

Christmas Bird Count Map
Historical CBC Map from USGS