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In On the Move, our regular migration column, we feature pairs of range maps from eBird that you can use to compare where interesting birds are at different times of the year. We featured Eastern Phoebe, pictured above, in our July/August 2019 issue.
Maps from eBird show where Eastern Phoebes are found in August (left) and January.
The Eastern Phoebe is normally one of the first flycatchers to return to breeding areas in the Midwest and Northeast, and pairs usually initiate their first nest before many other flycatchers return. In August, the eastern phoebe is present in southern Canada east of the Rocky Mountains and throughout the eastern United States. In January, most phoebes retreated to a range that primarily includes the southeastern United States. The species is uncommon to rare in winter in parts of the southwest. Well known for nesting on porches and other human structures, pairs are usually double brooded, with the pair remaining together throughout the breeding season. Listen for the species’ stereotypical two-voiced song, alternating fee-bee, fee-b-be-bee.
View eBird’s real-time distribution map for the Eastern Phoebe.
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eBird is the real-time online checklist operated by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Audubon. “On the Move” is written by eBird’s Garrett MacDonald, Chris Wood, Marshall Iliff and Brian Sullivan. Submit your bird sightings on ebird.org.
A version of this article appeared in “Birding Briefs” in the July/August 2019 issue of BirdWatching.