Bird of the Month-June

Eastern Phoebe

A common bird throughout a variety of habitats in Georgia, chances are you’ve seen this fascinating little bird at some point. Its diet primarily consists of insects, so it is rarely seen at birdfeeders. It catches insects by perching on a branch, post, or awning of a building and waiting for insects to pass by, at which point it sallies out and nabs them.

Although a relatively drab and unmarked bird, Eastern Phoebes exhibit helpful ID clues, one being its habit of bobbing its tail up and down while perched. Also note the large head in comparison to the body and the upright posture of the bird. Perhaps the best way to identify phoebes is by their namesake call, “Phoebe”. Phoebes are often very vocal, as if they feel the need to convince everyone in the vicinity of their name by repeating it time and time again!

The Eastern Phoebe is an expert nest-builder, and it takes advantage of the growing urban sprawl across its range by building nests at the top of pillars, just under the eaves of houses, and on other man-made structures. Even in places where there is little surface for the phoebes to build, they will use mud to help their nest stick to a vertical surface.