I saw my first migratory Eastern Phoebe of 2020 this morning at Cunningham Park in my home borough of Queens, where I was looking for my first Rusty Blackbirds of the year. (I found them too!) The phoebe was busy flycatching over a vernal pool, often hitting the water as it chased bugs. For me, it is now officially spring! Over the last ten years my average first phoebe has been the 20th of March, meaning that this year’s bird was five days earlier than average but only two days earlier than last year’s.

As I have for  years now, 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 2020? And was it late or early?

2020 – 15 March

2019 – 17 March

2018 – 30 March

2017 – 12 March

2016 – 18 March

2015 – 28 March

2014 – 29 March

2013 – 24 March

2012 – 15 March

2011 – 19 March

Enjoy spring! And while we need to practice social distancing in this time of corona virus, we can still get out and bird provided we stay away from other people. (Sounds like a win-win to me!)

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.