An illustration of a Phoebe’s nest in a box. The genus Sayornis is a small group of medium-sized insect-eating birds in the Tyrant flycatcher family Tyrranidae native to North and South America. They prefer semi-open or open areas. These birds wait on a perch and then catch insects in flight, also sometimes picking them up from the ground. Their nest is an open cup sometimes placed on man-made structures. They often slowly lower and raise their tails while perched.
Edward Howe Forbush Useful Birds and Their Protection (Boston, MA: Massachusetts State Board of Agriculture, 1907)