Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe)


French: Moucherolle phébi German: Weißbauch-Phoebetyrann Spanish: Mosquero fibí

[Muscicapa] Phoebe


, 1790,

New York, USA




Mostly in E & C North America, from NW Canada locally E to Maritime provinces, and from N Great Plains S in USA to C Texas and E to Atlantic coast (S to Georgia). Winters SE & CS USA (locally also NE & SW) S to S Mexico.

Descriptive notes

Male 12·4–16·8 cm, 19·7 g; female 14·2–16·5 cm, 16·9 g. Plumage is greyish-olive above, crown darkest and contrasting... read more


Common call “chip”, “chik” or “piik”. Male has two song forms... read more


Breeds mainly in forest and forest edge, especially open woodland and frequently deciduous woodland... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly flying insects; occasionally fruit during poor weather in autumn, winter and spring. Diet includes hymenopterans, coleopterans,... read more


Mid-Mar to early Aug, later, from Apr, in N of range; double-brooded. Male displays nest-site to female, female chooses site. Nest, built... read more


Partial migrant. N populations migrate S to S USA and Mexico; present throughout year in some parts... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Fairly common to common. Estimated global population 16,000,000 individuals. Survey data for USA indicate no significant decline or increase since... read more

Recommended citation

Farnsworth, A. & Lebbin, D. (2019). Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 11 December 2019).