The first nasally, “fee-bee… fee-bee… fee-bew” is always a welcome noise to ponds and marshes around Southern New England. The Eastern phoebe returns to New England from a winter spent from Texas to Florida. Phoebes easily earn their title of flycatcher by picking tiny winged bugs from midair on quick, acrobatic sorties. Phoebes often use a favorite thin branch or fence post from which to continually perch then dart into the air. Sitting straight on the branch watch for the arrhythmic bobbing of their tail, a good clue for identification. Found in wooded edge, around ponds, parks, and marshy areas the Eastern phoebe goes where the bugs go, though seems quite at home around human development. Their closely colored cousin, the Eastern wood-pewee favors deep woods. Keep an ear open for this early spring arrival and the plaintive, nasal, “fee-bee” call.