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Five Mile Trail
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Passeriformes > Tyrannidae

Eastern Phoebe

Sayornis phoebe

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Identification

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A drab, medium-sized flycatcher. Brownish above and pale below, often with a light yellowish wash on the belly. Watch for constant tail-wagging, and also note duller wingbars than Empidonax flycatchers. Common and familiar throughout eastern North America, wintering as far south as southern Mexico. Usually seen singly or in pairs in relatively open habitats such as woodland edge, brushy fields, or edges of ponds. Often nests under eaves of buildings and other human-made structures. An early migrant, returning north to breed much earlier than other flycatchers. Listen for its 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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Eastern Phoebe

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