Eastern phoebe song is a raspy, two-part sound that gives them their name: “fee-bee.” It lasts about half a second. The bird song is also sung with a stutter or two between each syllable. During or after aggressive interactions, eastern phoebes are more likely to make their call.
Furthermore, Eastern Wood-Pewees make brisk whistle-like calls similar to phoebe, the bird named after its song. Because of its repetitive name, it’s pretty easy to recognize and remember. In contrast to the western phoebe, it is more reserved in its movements. In spite of its friendliness, it isn’t intrusive.
The bird always respects human personal space. This small passerine bird (Sayornis phoebe) lives in eastern North America. When it puffs up its small crest, this species appears remarkably big-headed. Above, it has gray-brown plumage.
When breeding season begins, it has buffish underparts and a white throat. On each wing, there are two faint buff bars. Unlike other North American tyrant flycatchers, it lacks an eye ring and wing bars, and when perched on a branch, it pumps its tail up and down.
The wing bars of the eastern phoebe are always clearly defined and contrasted since it lacks the buff hue usually found on lighter parts of its plumage. The eastern phoebe leaves for winter quarters at about the same time as it appears on the breeding grounds, but it does not bob its tail habitually.
Eastern phoebe nests can take between five and fourteen days to construct and measure 5 inches wide when finished. The size of the nest is normally 2.5 inches in width and 2 inches in depth in the nest cup. In some years, Barn Swallows reuse nests, which is unlike most bird nests. Bridges and buildings are often used as nesting sites.
It is possible to start nesting activities as early as April 1. The Eastern phoebe eggs are laid in a crevice in a rock or man-made site in a cup with a mud base lined with grass and moss. A pair usually raises two broods a year, with both parents feeding the young. Brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater) occasionally parasitize the nest of eastern phoebes.
It is generally found on streamsides and farmland areas providing ideal habitats for eastern phoebes, which are highly adaptable to urban environments. Eastern phoebes prefer trees, brushy areas, overhangs, and other shady areas over open areas.
During migration in winter or breeding season, they are frequently seen around wooded edges and brushy areas where water sources are abundant. Although its normal range does not include the southeastern coast of the United States, this tyrant flycatcher breeds in eastern North America.
Often near water, eastern phoebes breed in open woodlands, farmlands, and suburbs. When searching for food items, this phoebe often perches conspicuously. In cooler weather, it also consumes fruits and berries.
This species is migratory, wintering in Central America and the southernmost United States. Western Europe has only a few of these vagrants. There were many species of birds that were expanding their ranges as well, including the phoebe. In September and November, they migrate south to Mexico, where they winter.
In spring, this bird returns to the breeding grounds and leaves in the fall. Breeding occurs between mid-late March and early April, but they return to winter quarters around September or early October, like all migrant songbirds.
Fire suppression and tree planting have helped expand the western range of animals in the Great Plains during the past century. Robert Frost wrote about Phoebes in his poem “The Need of Being Versed in Country Things” in 1923. An abandoned farm with phoebes nesting inside a barn is described in the poem. Eastern phoebe Song is heart-touching for any nature lover to fell in love with their voice.