Eastern phoebes often build their mud-and-plant nests on the side of a house, just under a roof or other overhang. Freshly molted birds in fall have yellowish underparts. John James Audubon attached silvered thread to an Eastern Phoebe's leg to track its return in successive years. Make this platform shelter from cedar, pine, or almost any softwood. The call is often repeated many times. One of our most familiar eastern flycatchers, the Eastern Phoebe’s raspy “phoebe” call is a frequent sound around yards and farms in spring and summer. Nesting Habits of the Eastern Phoebe [Auk L July were perching on a beam within three feet of the nest while the fifth was on the caves just above. with the first syllable accented, slightly longer, and higher pitched. This phoebe arrives in Missouri in March. The mother was very upset and so was I. Eastern Phoebes on the other hand, do not build their nest in a plant but prefer to use a ledge such as our porch corners. Small bristly feathers on either side of the forceps-like bill help channel insects toward the mouth. They have sharp vision and are capable of performing fast, precision aerial maneuvers. A perky bird that bobs its tail repeatedly. More ID Info. Eastern phoebe adults have brownish-gray upperparts with no wing bars, and white underparts. Eastern phoebes are frequently observed near bridges, porches, barns, cliffs, and cave openings, where they nest and forage for flying insects. Similar species: The eastern wood-pewee is smaller and thinner, has a pointier head that is not clearly darker than the other upperparts, has obvious white wing bars, does not bob its tail as much, and has a different call. The Eastern Phoebe is a loner, rarely coming in contact with other phoebes. Seemingly quite tame, it often nests around buildings and bridges where it is easily observed. Adult eastern phoebes have brownish-gray upperparts with no wing bars, and white underparts. As you can see, we have put Finials (fence tops) on the ledges but somehow Phoebe moved this one just enough to build a nest. Several groups of flycatchers are found in Missouri, including two pewees, two phoebes, three kingbirds, five in the genus Empidonax, the great crested flycatcher, and very rarely, the vermilion flycatcher. The bill is all black. The nest is an open cup of mud and moss lined with fine grasses, stems, and hair cemented with mud to a wall near a cliff, ceiling or building eave. These brown-and-white songbirds sit upright and wag their tails from prominent, low perches. Birds are warm-blooded, and most species can fly. Eastern Phoebe. FEE-bee!”. Unlike most birds, Eastern Phoebes often reuse nests in subsequent years—and sometimes Barn Swallows use them in between. It is among the earliest of migrants, bringing hope that spring is at hand. They may roost together early in pair formation, but even during egg laying the female frequently chases the male away from her. Birds lay hard-shelled eggs (often in a nest), and the parents care for the young. Consider putting up a nest box to attract a breeding pair. They typically place their mud-and-grass nests in protected nooks on bridges, barns, and houses, which adds to the species’ familiarity to humans. Years ago, people heard this bird’s “FEE-bee!” call and fancied it was crying out the name of the Classical goddess! Phoebes may have 1-2 broods per year. Voice and behavior usually are very helpful for distinguishing them. In 1804, the Eastern Phoebe became the first banded bird in North America. Most people know a bird when they see one — it has feathers, wings, and a bill. Eastern phoebe clutches usually comprise 2–6 eggs, which are incubated about 15 days before hatching. Eastern Phoebe On Nest. The phoebe nest in the same location the previous year, above a door. As a summer resident, common statewide but rare in our southeastern counties. During the early spring and late fall they frequent areas near water, such as along a lakeshore, where emergences of insects are most likely to occur. Eastern phoebe clutches usually comprise 2–6 eggs, …