Eastern Wood Pee-wee (Contopus virens) - Special Concern

The Eastern Wood-pewee is a small forest bird that grows to about 15 cm long. Adults are generally greyish-olive on their upper parts and pale on the under parts with pale bars on their wings. Males and females are similar in appearance. The eastern wood-pewee has a distinctive, clear, three-part song, usually recorded as “pee-ah-wee.” This bird is often observed perched in an upright position. It eats mostly small, flying insects. The eastern wood-pewee lives in the mid-canopy layer of forest clearings and edges of deciduous and mixed forests. It is most abundant in intermediate-age mature forest stands with little understory vegetation.  Eastern wood-peewees breed in the IBA arriving in late May.

Canadian Population: 435,000

Threats to this Species: Possible threats to the eastern wood-pewee are poorly known but may include loss and degrading of habitat due to urban development and/or changes in how forests are managed, reductions in the availability of the flying insects they eat, the cause of which is not known, and loss of eggs and fledgling birds from increasing numbers of predators such as blue jays and red squirrels.

Fun Fact: The eastern wood-pewee is almost impossible to tell apart from the western wood-pewee by sight, but can be distinguished by its different call.





Want to learn more about local bird species? Visit Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory's website for more info!

Want to learn more about birds across Canada? Visit the Birds Canada website for more info!



Species descriptions are from the Species at Risk in Ontario website.