This paper examines the divorce rates of Eastern Phoebes in-season and between seasons. The eastern wood pewee (Contopus virens) is extremely similar in appearance. It frequently nests under eaves, bridges, or other overhangs on human-made structures. This phoebe is insectivorous, and often perches conspicuously when seeking food items. The word 'Phoebe' is an alternative name for the Roman moon-goddess Diana, but it may also have been chosen to imitate the bird's call. 2013. This behavior reminds me of a sexually frustrated human male attempting to overcompensate for his lack of mate. While perched, the Eastern Phoebe constantly moved its head as though it was on a swivel, and gently wag and bob its tail. Killing barred owls who asked them not to but he savage. “Phoebe!” they called again. In 1804, John James Audubon used a silver thread attached to its leg to note when the bird would return each year. American Midland Naturalist 161:49–56. Its lack of an eye ring and wingbars, and its all dark bill distinguish it from other North American tyrant flycatchers, and it pumps its tail up and down like other phoebes when perching on a branch. Songs of the Eastern Phoebe, a suboscine songbird, are individually distinctive but do not vary geographically. Grouse? During my observations, I witnessed some very interesting behaviors. Nesting activity may start as early as the first days of April. [6][5] The increase in trees throughout the Great Plains during the past century due to fire suppression and tree planting facilitated a western range expansion of the eastern phoebe[7] as well as range expansions of many other species of birds. 2009a. The Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe) is a loner and seldom comes to in contact with other phoebes and to my knowledge they rarely visit feeders. While to the human ear these vocalizations all sound the same, birds can actually tell one Eastern Phoebe from another based on minute variations. They are considered the largest family of birds, with more than 400 species. The genus name Sayornis is constructed from the specific part of Charles Lucien Bonaparte's name for Say's phoebe, Muscicapa saya, and Ancient Greek ornis, "bird". Boy, was I wrong. From Foote et al., 2013. Even with its body still, the head of the bird would never stay still for more than a second. Photo 1 shows their migration pattern. This paper described a case of infanticide by a non-mating Eastern Phoebe. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your account. Its plumage is gray-brown above. [2] Phoebe is an alternative name for the Roman moon-goddess Diana, but it may also have been chosen to imitate the bird's call.[3]. Imagine a hyper 10-year-old that had too much sugar at lunch… yeah. This paper tested 4 hypotheses on the function of the Eastern Phoebe’s tail movements. The Alder and Willow Flycatchers are so similar in plumage that visual identification is nearly impossible. It is migratory, wintering in the southernmost United States and Central America. [8][9][10], Taken at Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area, Quebec, Immature birds in a nest, Norman, Oklahoma. The call of fee-bee is often confused with the call of the Black-Capped Chickadee bird. The aforementioned call of the Eastern Phoebe is perhaps my favorite. Mate replacement in Eastern Phoebes usually only occurs following death- an understandable practice. Bioacoustics-the International Journal of Animal Sound and Its Recording. The weather was dreary, and I was positive I was the only human being that dared to suffer through the on and off rain drizzles in order to be outdoors. Bill, legs, and feet are black. Infanticide by an Eastern Phoebe. Preferred habitats include open woodland, farmland and suburbs, often near water. This tyrant flycatcher breeds in eastern North America, although its normal range does not include the southeastern coastal United States. Eastern Phoebe: Breeds in eastern North America, although its normal range does not include the southeastern coastal United States. The Eastern Phoebe. According to, Eastern Phoebes begin entering Tallahassee in late September, and head back north in late March. Related species often replace each other in different habitats or regions such as in the case of the Eastern and Western Wood-Peewees. Call note a distinctive, short chip. Pheasant? VOICE. [CDATA[ When the mating male was absent, a non-mating male entered the nest containing the female bird and chicks, and thereafter attacked and killed some of the chicks. These birds typically sing from a high, exposed perch, and they are an easily recognizable part of the dawn chorus each spring. Then return to their solitary life as soon as their young fledged. Get the Flash Playerto see this. The development the Eastern Phoebe’s song is also an interesting topic. They found that both in-season and between-season divorce rates were below 5%! The Eastern Phoebe also pumps its tail in the absence of predators though, which would seem to make them more visible to predators. This foraging strategy involves watching for insects from a perch, sallying out to catch one with a snap of the beak, and returning to the perch to eat it. It is a very rare vagrant to western Europe. When I started my quest I admittedly had no interest in a small bird like the Eastern Phoebe, as I thought they would be uninteresting.