Eastern Phoebe - Sayornis phoebe
November 06, 2007
Eastern phoebes are one of our most common Tyrant flycatchers. While they will still build nests in natural rock cliffs and outcrops, they have adapted to nest near humans by nesting in the eaves of buildings and under bridges. This adaptation has allowed it to deal with changes we have made to the natural landscape and in some cases even expand its range. They are also distinguished by their constant tail wagging. Sayornis will often return to the same nest site up to several years in a row. This behavior was supposedly first documented by Audubon in 1804, and thus they became the first banded bird in North America. He did so by attaching a silver thread to the legs of nestlings and then observing their nesting habits in subsequent years; after which he then promptly ate the them. Just kidding...well sort of. I think the man ate everything he observed.