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Western Wood-Pewee

Contopus sordidulus ORDER: PASSERIFORMES FAMILY: TYRANNIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A medium-sized, drab flycatcher, the Western Wood-Pewee is a common breeder in open forests and riparian zones across the West.

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Appearance

Flycatcherlike
Flycatcherlike
Typical Voice

Adult Description

  • Medium-sized flycatcher.
  • Grayish olive above.
  • Pale below, with darker wash on breast and sides.
  • Whitish wingbars.
  • No eyering or only a faint one.

Immature Description

Juvenile similar to adult, but slightly darker and wingbars buffier.

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Western Wood-Pewee Range Map
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Similar Species

  • Not safely distinguishable from Eastern Wood-Pewee by sight, only by song. Western has a harsh, buzzy "peer" instead of the slurred whistled "pee-ah-wee" of the Eastern.
  • Olive-sided Flycatcher has more indistinct wingbars, and larger and darker patches on the side of the breast that contrast strongly with a white center; also occasionally shows white tufts on the sides of the rump.
  • Distinguished from Empidonax flycatchers by weak, broken eyering and dirty smudging under tail.
  • Greater Pewee is larger, has more uniformly colored underparts, a proportionately larger bill, which is bright pinkish orange below, and a thin, pointed crest.