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Passeriformes > Tyrannidae

Eastern Phoebe

Sayornis phoebe

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Identification

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Medium-sized flycatcher, smaller than a robin. Watch for it constantly dipping its tail down. Plumage is nondescript brownish above and pale below, with blurry vest. Often nests under eves of buildings and other structures. Spends winters in southeastern U.S. and eastern Mexico and returns north earlier than other flycatchers. Listen for its low-pitched, harsh "FEE-bee" song in the spring, but don't get confused by Black-capped Chickadee's higher-pitched, sweet whistled song of a similar pattern!

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Learn more about Eastern Phoebe from…

All About Birds

Your Online Guide To Birds And Bird Watching

Birds of North America

Comprehensive life histories of North American breeding birds

Neotropical Birds

Life histories of all species breeding in Mexico, Central America, and South America