from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of several medium-sized birds of the genus Sayornis, of North America, noted for the flicking motion of the tail.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of several birds of the genus Sayornis


Imitative of its song (influenced by the name Phoebe).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)



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  • "Young phoebes sometimes become entangled in the horsehairs which are used in the lining of their nest."

    "He tells of the phoebe-bird that betrays her nest on the porch by trying to hide it with moss in a similar fashion in the way all phoebe-birds hide their nests when they are built among rocks."

    August 2, 2015