Eastern Phoebe

Eastern Phoebe

Normally, we start looking for Eastern Phoebe in Wisconsin around March 12th. The weather has been pretty warm for this early in the season.

It seems that many species of migratory birds I have been seeing anywhere from a week to three weeks ahead of schedule.

Since they are here earlier. Expect things like collecting nesting materials and mating to be a little earlier as well.

The Eastern Phoebe in Wisconsin collects mud to build its nest. It often nests on human structures such as bridges and buildings. Nesting activity may start as early as the first days of April. The nest is an open cup with a mud base and lined with moss and grass, built in a crevice in a rock or man-made site; two to six eggs are laid. Both parents feed the young and usually raise two broods per year.

Feeding Habits
The Eastern Phoebe in Wisconsin mostly insects and some berries. Insects make up the great majority of their diet; included are many small wasps, bees, beetles, grasshoppers, and others. The bird is part of the flycatcher family and can catch the flying insects right in the air. Small fruits and berries are eaten often during the cooler months or when hanging out along creek beds that have berry trees and bushes.

Not to Afraid of Humans
Since the bird’s nest near humans they are not as afraid of human contact it seems. They will come pretty close to humans while collecting nesting materials.  Don’t get me wrong, they are afraid of you; but don’t mind sharing space.

Migration South
Expect to see the Eastern Phoebe in Wisconsin until the first week of November.

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