I saw my first migratory Eastern Phoebe of 2018 this afternoon at Forest Park, thus kicking off spring for myself over a week after spring actually started. Over the last ten years my average first phoebe has been the 22nd of March, meaning that this year’s bird was a full eight days later than average and more than two weeks later than last year’s. (The photo up above, by the way, is from October of 2015.)

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 2018? 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 12 March (last year’s) to a relatively late 31 March. This year, with the regular nor’easters and a lack of south winds, my first phoebe was late! 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…

2018 – 30 March

2017 – 12 March

2016 – 18 March

2015 – 28 March

2014 – 29 March

2013 – 24 March

2012 – 15 March

2011 – 19 March

2010 – 31 March

2009 – 15 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.