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Spring Has Sprung!

4-3-14 e.phoebe2 002There’s no denying the arrival of spring, even when the snow is still up to your knees in the woods, if Eastern Phoebes are back! This member of the flycatcher family is one of our earliest returning and nesting migrants, arriving on its breeding grounds in late March and early April. One might wonder what this insect-eating bird subsists on at this time of year. Wasps, bees, beetles and butterflies are not in great supply. Fortunately, there are some insects around, including stoneflies – aquatic insects, some of which mature and emerge from streams in the winter and early spring. When insects aren’t plentiful (in fall, winter and early spring) phoebes will eat small fruits, but they only make up about 11% of their diet.

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9 responses


    I saw 2 of these just this morning!

    Thanks, Judi

    April 3, 2014 at 10:56 am

  2. I saw my first one yesterday and I was thrilled! And day before yesterday I saw my first swallow – oh, yay, spring at last!

    April 3, 2014 at 2:12 pm

  3. Every time I vent a bunch of cluster flies out the window, I think, “Well, there’s something for the phoebes!”

    April 3, 2014 at 2:49 pm

  4. First Phoebe and first Song Sparrow yesterday in Pomfret!

    April 3, 2014 at 5:10 pm

  5. Ron Willoughby

    I live in North Haverhill at 1300 feet. Yesterday I saw a swallow, geese and several purple finches.
    We have had robins since February 3rd.

    April 3, 2014 at 7:23 pm

  6. Casey B

    That is an especially gorgeous photo

    April 4, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    • Thank you so much, Casey. For some reason it appeals to me, as well. Maybe the softness of both the phoebe and the surroundings…

      April 4, 2014 at 6:21 pm

  7. Pingback: spring is coming along | hemlock adventures

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