I saw my first migratory Eastern Phoebe of 2016 on 18 March at Kissena Park, thus kicking off spring for myself two days early. Over the last ten years my average first phoebe has been the 23rd of March, meaning that this bird was five days earlier than average and beat last year’s first phoebe by ten days. (That’s last year’s first phoebe in the image above.)

As I have for the last several years, I will now ask the same question of midwesterners and northeasterners that I ask every year: When did you see your first Eastern Phoebe of 2016? And was it late or early?

In the last ten years I have seen my first phoebe of the year on dates ranging from a 15 March to a relatively late 31 March. So I’m a little early this year but not too much. Regardless, I was happy to see the tail-wagging harbinger of spring migration and I can’t wait for everything else to get back too! Below are my first dates for the last ten years if you are really interested in such things…

2016 – 18 March

2015 – 28 March

2014 – 29 March

2013 – 24 March

2012 – 15 March

2011 – 19 March

2010 – 31 March

2009 – 15 March

2008 – 21 March

2007 – 26 March

Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy and Desmond Shearwater. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.