Bird Bio: Eastern Phoebe

A Sign of Spring 

As I was about to enter the bank this morning I heard a familiar bird call that lets me know spring is here and soon our summer residents that make the long journey from Central and South America will be arriving.  I heard the call of the Eastern Phoebe.

The Eastern Phoebe is a common summer resident in middle TN easily seen from March to September.  This handsome little flycatcher can be found nesting around bridges, rafters of old buildings, and on anything that provides a “shelf-like” spot.  Many of us have had them return year after year to the same place and re-enforce the mud and fiber nest from previous years. A favorite spot is on eve lights on the corners of a house.  It is about 7” in length and mostly grayish in color, considerably darker on the head.  Look for its foraging habit of flying off its perch to capture insects in flight.  It also bobs, or pumps its tail downward when perched.  Its song is a well enunciated phoe-be, or fi-bree.