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Eastern Phoebes have been relatively easy to find in winter in the Southeast since I began birding over 40 years ago. They are even more common now in winter than they were then. Check out Christmas Bird Count data. I agree in considering them "uncommon" in our area in winter, and I do have the impression they have increased in winter in the last two decades. Again, might want to check out CBC data.
----Bill Eddleman, Cape Girardeau


      From: Allen Gathman <[log in to unmask]>
 To: [log in to unmask] 
 Sent: Tuesday, March 1, 2016 4:11 PM
 Subject: Re: Return of Phoebes
   
I notice that Showme-birds lists Eastern Phoebe as a rare winter resident in the southern part of the state, where "rare" means "more than 15 records; usually observed annually".  

Looking at the ebird records for Eastern Phoebe, I'm wondering if it's actually more like "uncommon" ("frequently observed, usually in small numbers").  I count 41 Dec-Feb ebird reports of Eastern Phoebes from 2006-2016 at Otter Slough alone, omitting duplicate checklists.   24 reports at Duck Creek.  A few each at General Watkins, Trail of Tears, Maintz, Apple Creek, and so on.  

It would be interesting for someone with fuller access to ebird data to examine the records for the region.  Is there a trend toward more winter phoebes in S. MO over recent years?  Or have they been present all along in small numbers and just not reported as well prior to ebird?  

-Allen Gathman
Pocahontas, MO


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On Tue, Mar 1, 2016 at 11:09 AM, Edge Wade <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

My incomplete records for central Missouri show several entries for the first week of March and many more for the second week.

Edge Wade
Columbia, MO
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On Mar 1, 2016, at 11:05 AM, Home wrote:

> This is the earliest the Phoebes have returned for nesting. Sitting in my office just now a Phoebe landed in the tree outside the window with small sticks in its beak. Seems very early!
>
> Clark Creighton
> Wildwood MO
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