Greater Pewee

Contopus pertinax

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Tyrant Flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Code 4

GRPE

Code 6

CONPER

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Greater Pewee is a medium passerine bird found throughout the Americas. It is regularly seen in southeastern Arizona, southwestern New Mexico, central Guatemala, and rarely southern California and western and southern Texas. This species prefers to breed in pine and oak woodlands in mountain ranges in upper elevations. Nesting takes place high in these trees, and 2-4 eggs are laid in the shallow cup-shaped nest. The Greater Pewee’s northernmost populations will migrate during winter months to northern Mexico. This bird feeds mostly on insects caught during flight. The conservation rating for the Greater Pewee is currently Least Concern due to maintained and rising populations of the species.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Greater Pewee: Large, plump flycatcher, olive-gray upperparts, white throat, gray breast, pale yellow belly. Slender crest. Broad, flat bill is two-toned: upper mandible is dark, lower is orange. Wings and tail are dark. Short flights on rapid shallow wing beats. Sallies out to take insects in air.

 

Range and Habitat

Greater Pewee: This species breeds from central Arizona and southwestern New Mexico southward into northwestern Texas. Casually occurs in southwest Texas. Spends winters mainly south of the U.S.-Mexico border into central Mexico. Its preferred habitats include highland coniferous forests, especially pine and pine-oak.

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Greater Pewee SONGS AND CALLS

Greater Pewee A1

Dawn song is a whistled series of notes, "who-see, who see, who see-ma-ree-ah".

Greater Pewee A2

Excited or agitated "peep-peep" notes followed by song phrases.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"ho-sa, ma-re-ah"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Greater Pewees have a loud and distinctive call that is often heard on the sound tracks of Westerns.
  • A single bird is often included in flocks of wintering wood-warblers. If a second one tries to join the flock a noisy confrontation occurs until the intruder or the original one is expelled.
  • They will aggressively defend nesting territory against larger birds, snakes, and squirrels.
  • A group of pewees are collectively known as a "dribble" and a "squirt" of pewees.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Kavita Jhunjhunwala

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
BellyX
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
CrestX
Tufts of feathers on the head of the bird.
Upper mandibleX
The upper part of the bill.
UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X