Eastern Phoebe

Order: Passeriformes
Family: Tyrannidae
Genus: Sayorins
Species: phoebe

La. passer sparrow, small bird
La. forma form, kind, species
Gr. turannos tyrant
La. tyrannus tyrant, despot, king
La. -idae appearance, resemblance
iLa. Sayorins for zoologist Thomas Say
La. Phoebe mythological Titaness, daughter of Uranus and Gaea

Six or seven inches long. Brown head with slight crest, gray brown back, gray wings with white bars and white underside with yellow tint. Black bill and feet.

Exhibits the characteristic phoebe up and down tail motion. Makes an abrupt, harsh note.

Painting of an eastern phoebe on a vine embellished tree branch.
Phoebes are a favorite pretty song bird. Eastern phoebes inhabit woodland and grove edges, shady ravines, river bottoms and open farm fields and natural plains if there is something to nest on or under.
USGS map shows eastern phoebes range in most of the US and Canada east of the Rocky Mountains.
Their breeding range extends across Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario, throughout the Great Lakes Region, to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia all down the east coast and Appalachia over to the Great Plains. Migrates to Mexico and the Caribbean.
Feeds on moths, flies, bees and other insects it catches on the fly like the swallows with a clap of its beak. Also eat berries.

Builds nests of twigs, roots and moss, cemented with mud, lined with grass, hair, and feathers in woodlands near wetlands, very often near and with humans on house ledges under eaves, in farm buildings, on and under bridge beams, or cliff protrusions very often in the same place year after year almost always under something.

Their nests have been found in culverts, caves, wells, freight train cars and even a ferry that was in use.

Phoebes mate for life. They also like bird baths.

Painting of eastern phoebe perched on a branch overhanging a stream with a bridge crossing the stream among foliage in the background
The female lays four to six, more or less, speckled white eggs which hatch after about two weeks incubation and young leave the nest in about another two weeks. They often rear two broods in a season.
The Phoebe Platform has approximately a 6″ by 6″ base, measures approximately 6″ from floor to ceiling, an open front and partially open sides.

Assemble with corrosion resistant screws fit to pre-drilled countersunk pilot holes to reduce splitting wood.

Install a platform on the side of a garage, shed or porch under open shelter or an eave over looking both open spaces and foliage in your back yard from seven to twelve feet high.

Never install in a tree or near objects that cats and squirrels can climb. Squirrels can leap 8′ horizontally!

Platform nesting birds claim platforms that best simulate ledges on cliff faces which are difficult for predators to scale. They can also scan the surrounding area and below.

If the location is under a roof, porch, eave, open sheds, etc., consider installing this Open Platform.
Visit the open nesting platform page.
Robins, mourning doves, bluejays and other phoebes also may use these platforms.

 

Eastern Phoebe Song

Song of the eastern phoebe written to sheet music by F Schuyler Mathews

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Eastern Phoebe

Painting of an eastern phoebe on a vine embellished tree branch.
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Tyrannidae
Genus: Sayorins
Species: phoebe

La. passer sparrow, small bird
La. forma form, kind, species
Gr. turannos tyrant
La. tyrannus tyrant, despot, king
iLa. -idae appearance, resemblance
La. Sayorins for zoologist Thomas Say
La. Phoebe mythological Titaness, daughter of Uranus and Gaea

Six or seven inches long. Brown head with slight crest, gray brown back, gray wings with white bars and white underside with yellow tint. Black bill and feet.

Exhibits the characteristic phoebe up and down tail motion. Makes an abrupt, harsh note.

Phoebes are a favorite pretty song bird. Eastern phoebes inhabit woodland and grove edges, shady ravines, river bottoms and open farm fields and natural plains if there is something to nest on or under.

USGS map shows eastern phoebes range in most of the US and Canada east of the Rocky Mountains.
Their breeding range extends across Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario, throughout the Great Lakes Region, to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia all down the east coast and Appalachia over to the Great Plains. Migrates to Mexico and the Caribbean.
Painting of eastern phoebe perched on a branch overhanging a stream with a bridge crossing the stream among foliage in the background
Feeds on moths, flies, bees and other insects it catches on the fly like the swallows with a clap of its beak. Also eat berries.

Builds nests of twigs, roots and moss, cemented with mud, lined with grass, hair, and feathers in woodlands near wetlands, very often near and with humans on house ledges under eaves, in farm buildings, on and under bridge beams, or cliff protrusions very often in the same place year after year almost always under something.

Their nests have been found in culverts, caves, wells, freight train cars and even a ferry that was in use.

Phoebes mate for life. They also like bird baths.

The female lays four to six, more or less, speckled white eggs which hatch after about two weeks incubation and young leave the nest in about another two weeks. They often rear two broods in a season.

Select to visit the Phoebe Platform page
The Phoebe Platform has approximately a 6″ by 6″ base, measures approximately 6″ from floor to ceiling, an open front and partially open sides.

Assemble with corrosion resistant screws fit to pre-drilled countersunk pilot holes to reduce splitting wood.

Install a platform on the side of a garage, shed or porch under open shelter or an eave over looking both open spaces and foliage in your back yard from seven to twelve feet high.

Select to view or print the Phoebe Shelter Plans
Never install in a tree. Make sure objects that cats and squirrels can climb do not provide access to the nest. Squirrels can leap 8′ horizontally!

Platform nesting birds claim platforms that best simulate ledges on cliff faces which are difficult for predators to scale. They can also scan the surrounding area and below.

If the location is under a roof, use the Open Platform.

Visit the open nesting platform page.
Select to view or print the open platform plans.
 

Eastern Phoebe Song

Song of the eastern phoebe written to sheet music by F Schuyler Mathews

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