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Eastern phoebe

By: Garden Gate staff
This small, 5 1/2- to 6 1/2-in.-long dark gray-brown flycatcher is familiar in most of eastern North America.

from the wild side

© Jay Gilliam

Eastern phoebe
Sayornis phoebe

This small, 5 1/2- to 6 1/2-in.-long dark gray-brown flycatcher is familiar in most of eastern North America. Usually nesting on buildings and bridges along the edges of woodlands, often near open water, the Eastern phoebe tolerates human activity. You’ll most often see it flying from a perch to near the ground as it catches flying insects, its main source of food. It occasionally eats small fruit, as well.

Tuck a small shelf under the eaves of your house and in spring eastern phoebes will build a nest of grass and mud. They won’t even mind if it’s near a busy patio or entrance — they seem to like the company.

Published: June 21, 2011
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