Eastern Phoebe

Sayornis phoebe

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Tyrant Flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Code 4

EAPH

Code 6

SAYPHO

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Eastern Phoebe has a large range, estimated globally at 6,200,000 square kilometers. It is native to the nations of North America as well as Belize, Bahamas, Cuba, and Turks and Caicos Islands and prefers forest and shrubland ecosystems. The global population of this bird is estimated to be 16,000,000 individuals and it does not appear to meet population decline criteria that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. The current evaluation status of the Eastern Phoebe is Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Eastern Phoebe: Small flycatcher with dark gray-brown upperparts and slightly darker wings and tail. Underparts are pale with hint of olive-brown or yellow on sides and breast. Bill, legs, and feet are black. Feeds on insects, small fish, berries and fruit. Weak fluttering bouyant flight.


Range and Habitat

Eastern Phoebe: Breeds in eastern North America, although its normal range does not include the southeastern coastal United States. Migratory, winters from the Ohio River to the Gulf Coast. Very rare vagrant to Western Europe. Preferred habitats include open woodland, farmland and suburbs, often near water.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"chip", "FEE-be"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Eastern Phoebe was the first bird to be banded in North America. In 1804, John James Audubon used a silver thread attached to its leg to note when the bird would return each year.
  • Of the three Phoebe species, the Eastern Phoebe’s call most closely resembles its name.
  • Unlike most songbirds who must hear other birds to hone their vocalizations, an Eastern Phoebe raised in isolation will still sing a perfect song.
  • A group of flycatchers has many collective nouns, including an "outfield", "swatting", "zapper", and "zipper" of flycatchers.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Eastern Phoebe

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Michael Oberhofer

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BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX
Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.
UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X