Eastern Phoebe

Sayornis phoebe




Tyrant Flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

White, sometimes with red brown spots

Number of Eggs:

2 - 8

Incubation Days:


Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

Often built on top of remains of old nest., Attached to a vertical wall or on a shelf or beam.

Nest Material:

Mud pellets covered with moss., Lined with grass, weeds, leaves, hair, and feathers.


Most migrate



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. Sexes are similar.

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.

Breeding and Nesting

Eastern Phoebe: Two to eight white eggs with occasional red brown spots are laid in a nest made of mud pellets covered with moss and lined with grass, weeds, leaves, hair, and feathers. Nest is normally built on top of an old nest, or attached to a building. Incubation is about 16 days and is carried out by both parents.

Foraging and Feeding

Eastern Phoebe: Feeds on insects, small fish, berries, and fruits. Forages from atop tree branches and other perches, flying out to catch prey in mid-air; also gleans food from foliage, on the ground, and at the water surface.


Eastern Phoebe: Call is a "chip" or "FEE-be."

Similar Species

Eastern Phoebe: Eastern Wood-Pewee has darker underparts, yellow lower mandible, two white wing-bars, different voice, and does not pump tail.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The upper front part of a bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X