Eastern Wood-Pewee

Contopus virens




Tyrant Flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

White with brown and purple blotches

Number of Eggs:

2 - 4

Incubation Days:

12 - 13

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

On tree branch., 15-50 feet above ground.

Nest Material:

Dried grasses, pine needles, horsehair, and plant stems.





Eastern Wood-Pewee: Small flycatcher with gray-olive upperparts and pale gray underparts. Bill is dark except for yellow base of lower mandible. Wings are dark with two white bars. Sexes are similar. Juvenile has all-dark bill.

Range and Habitat

Eastern Wood-Pewee: Breeds from eastern Great Plains to the Atlantic Ocean, ranging from southern Canada to northern Florida, the Gulf coast and central Texas. Winters in the tropics. Preferred habitats include northern hardwood, pine-oak, oak-hickory, bottomland hardwood, southern pine savannah, and Midwestern forests; also found in orchards, parks, roadsides, and suburban areas.

Breeding and Nesting

Eastern Wood-Pewee: Two to four white eggs with brown and purple blotches are laid in a shallow cup of woven grass, weeds, wool, bark strips, twigs, roots, mosses, pine needles, and leaves camouflaged with spider webs and lichens. Nest is built on a horizontal limb well out from trunk, frequently on a dead twig of a living tree. Incubation ranges from 12 to 13 days and is carried out by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Eastern Wood-Pewee: Feeds on small flying insects, including flies, bees, butterflies, wasps, and beetles. Sallies out from an exposed perch to capture prey, usually returning to the same perch; occasionally takes insects from the ground or vegetation.


Eastern Wood-Pewee: Song is a slurred "pee-ah-wee." Call is a rapid, shrill "pe-e-e-e-e-e", usually made when disturbed at the nest.

Similar Species

Eastern Wood-Pewee: Eastern Phoebe pumps its tail, has dark bill, and lack or has less distinct wing bars. Western Wood-Pewee has different song.


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

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
Lower mandibleX
The lower part of the bill.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X