In 1804, the Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe) became the first bird in North America to be banded. John James Audubon attached a short-silvered thread to an Eastern Phoebe's leg, in order to track its return the following season, to its nesting site. Phoebes inhabits an impressive range stretching across most of North America.
Phoebes breed in the northern United States, migrate south for the winter in September and early October and typically arrive back in Maine during mid-late March.
Phoebes possess heads appearing much too large for a bird of its relatively diminutive size. Evolution blessed the Phoebe with a short thin bill, perfectly adapted for catching their favorite food of insects and grubs. The head, typically the darkest part of the small birds body, lightens to a brownish-gray colored body that fades into a dirty gray breast and white throat.
The Phoebe lacks distinct eye rings and wingbars making it easy to distinguish from other flycatchers. Phoebes also wag their tails up and down when perching on a prominent perches, making they easy for novice birdwatchers to identify. The Phoebe's gets its name, from its sharp fee-bee chirp that frequently echoes through the Maine woods.
Phoebe’s are adaptable and through prefer open woodland and farmland will occasional invade suburbia and nest on buildings and bridges. Nests are comprised of mud and grass and usually located in protected nooks. Both the male and female phoebes care and feed newly hatched chicks and often raise two broods of 2-6 eggs every year. If successful at avoiding predators, Phoebes can live to be 10 years old.
1. In what year did John James Audubon band the first bird in North America?
2. When do phoebes migrate south for the winter?
3. What is the favorite food of the phoebe?
4. What distinguishes phoebes from other flycatchers?
5. What do phoebes do while perching that makes them easy to identify by novice bird watchers?
6. What sound or call does the phoebe make?
7. What materials do phoebes use to construct their nests?
8. How many broods do phoebes typically raise every year?
9. How long can a phoebe live?
1. John James Audubon banded the first bird in North America in 1804.
2. Phoebes migrate south for the winter in September and early October.
3. Phoebes favorite food is grubs and insects.
4. Phoebes can be distinguished from other flycatchers by their lack of distinct eye rings and wingbars. 5. Phoebes wag their tails up and down while perching, making them easy to identify by novice bird watchers.
6. The phoebe makes a sharp fee-bee chirp.
7. Phoebes use grass and mud to construct their nests.
8. Phoebes typically raise 2 broods per year.
9. A phoebe can live up to 10 years.