Support
Subscribe
Subscribe to BirdNote

Sign up to receive a weekly email preview of the following week's shows!

Sign Up
Support BirdNote

Help BirdNote tell more stories, reach more people, and inspire action.

DONATE

You are here

The Phoebe and the Pewee

One’s song is energetic, and the other is more plaintive

The Eastern Phoebe (pictured here) is one of the most familiar flycatchers east of the Rockies. Because the Eastern Phoebe repeats its name when it sings, it’s a pretty straightforward voice to identify and remember. But there’s another flycatcher east of the Rockies that whistles its name over and over: It’s the Eastern Wood-Pewee. This bird is more often heard than seen. And it wouldn’t be unusual to hear a pewee and a phoebe at the same spot. With careful listening, though, you can tell them apart by their singing styles.
Support for BirdNote comes from the Port Aransas Tourism Bureau. Home to hundreds of species of birds and the Whooping Crane Festival in February. More at VisitPortAransas.com.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®

The Phoebe and the Pewee

Written by Bob Sundstrom

This is BirdNote.
[Eastern Phoebe song, http://macaulaylibrary.org/audio/61890, 0.15-.22]
This brisk whistle belongs to a bird named for its song — the Eastern Phoebe. It repeats its name each time it sings, so it’s a pretty straightforward voice to identify and remember.
[Eastern Phoebe song, http://macaulaylibrary.org/audio/61890, 0.15-.22]
The Eastern Phoebe is one of the most familiar flycatchers east of the Rockies. They often nest very close to people, under the eaves, in barns, or under bridges. They’re one of the very earliest migrants to return north in spring. And they sing…a lot. 
But there’s another flycatcher that whistles its name over and over:
[Eastern Wood-Pewee, http://macaulaylibrary.org/audio/191222, 0.24-.27]
It’s the Eastern Wood-Pewee — or just “pewee” for short — common in leafy forests east of the Rockies. This one’s more often heard than seen, and it wouldn’t be unusual to hear a pewee and a phoebe at the same spot.
With careful listening, though, you can tell them apart by their different singing styles. The phoebe’s a little more…energetic:
[Eastern Phoebe song, http://macaulaylibrary.org/audio/61890, 0.15-.22]
…the pewee’s a bit more…plaintive:
[Eastern Wood-Pewee, http://macaulaylibrary.org/audio/191222, 0.24-.27]
For BirdNote, I’m Michael Stein.
Support for BirdNote comes from the Port Aransas Tourism Bureau. Home to hundreds of species of birds and the Whooping Crane Festival in February. More at VisitPortAransas.com.
###
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Eastern Phoebe [61890] recorded by William W H Gunn; Eastern Wood-Pewee [191122] recorded by W L Hershberger.
BirdNote's theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Dominic Black
© 2016 Tune In to Nature.org    Oct 2018   Narrator: Michael Stein

ID#  EAWP-EAPH-01-2016-06-23            EAWP-EAPH-01

Sights & Sounds

Related topics:

Related field notes:

Home
Shows
Galleries
More