I saw my first migratory Eastern Phoebe of 2021 this morning at Idlewild Park in my home borough of Queens. My birding buddy Meryl actually spotted it first and she might have been mildly taken aback by the enthusiasm I showed for my first phoebe of the year. The bird was relatively distant but I did manage to poorly digiscope a few shots, the best of which is above.

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 seven days earlier than average but only two days earlier than last year’s, which, if I continue my trend from 2019 means that next year I should find my first phoebe on 11 March.

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 2021? And was it late or early?

2021 – 13 March

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

Enjoy spring!

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.