- Sayornis phoebe
12·4–16·8 cm (4¾-6½ in)
- Gray-brown above
- White throat
- Dirty gray breast
- Yellowish underparts which (become whiter during the season)
- Lack of both an eye ring and wing bars, and an all dark bill distinguish it from other American flycatchers
- Pumps its tail up and down like other phoebes
Compare the similar Eastern Wood Pewee, which has stronger wing-bars and does not bob its tail habitually.
Winters in the south-east USA to Mexico.
In the Western Palearctic recorded only in Britain, on Lundy Island off Devon in April 1987 and probably the same bird was seen at Slapton, Devon shortly before, although this report is not currently accepted.
Usually found in woodland and scrub near flowing water.
Their diet consists mostly of insects, supplemented by fruit from autumn to spring.
Voice: a quick rough phoebe.
Do not confuse with the much sweeter phoebe song of the Black-capped Chickadee.
Click on photo for larger image
- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
- Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved October 2014)
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2021) Eastern Phoebe. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 11 May 2021 from https://www.birdforum.net/wiki/Eastern_Phoebe