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Eastern Phoebe

Sayornis phoebe 
Flycatcher family (Tyrannidae)

A medium-sized flycatcher. Grayish back, dark crown and tail, whitish belly and breast, black bill. Repeatedly wags tail when perched.

Nest is a rounded cup of mud and moss, placed on a ledge of a building or on a vertical rock wall. Old nests are frequently renovated and reused. Eggs are white. Clutch size – 4 to 6 eggs.


Song is a hoarse rendition of its name “fee-bee” with more hoarseness and emphasis on the second syllable.  Call is a hollow “chirp.” 

Name Origin:

The genus Sayornis is named after Thomas Say, a 19th century naturalist.  The suffix -ornis is from the Greek for “bird.”  The species name phoebe is an imitation of the bird’s song.

In the Nature Park:
Short-distance migrant, arrives in late March, early April. Regularly nests on the outer walls of the Manning Field Station and the Welcome Center.