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Greater Pewee

ID Info
  • Greater Pewee
  • Greater Pewee
  • Greater Pewee  video
Silhouette FlycatchersFlycatchers
Greater PeweeContopus pertinax
  • ORDER: Passeriformes
  • FAMILY: Tyrannidae

Basic Description

The Greater Pewee is a large, grayish brown flycatcher of mountainous pine and pine-oak forests of the southwestern U.S. and Mexico. Like many other flycatchers, it has a jaunty crest, pale yellowish belly, and catches insects on short, acrobatic flights from an exposed perch. Its large, wide bill with yellow-orange underside helps to distinguish it, as does its lively, whistled ho-say ma-REE-ah song. In Mexico, a common local name for it is José Maria.

More ID Info
image of range map for Greater Pewee
Range map provided by Birds of the World
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Find This Bird

It’s easiest to find Greater Pewees in spring or early summer by listening for the male’s distinctive, whistling José Maria song. Search at middle elevation pine and pine-oak forests, for instance at around 6,000 feet in the mountains of southeastern Arizona.

Other Names

  • Pibí Tengofrío (Spanish)
  • Moucherolle de Coues (French)
  • Cool Facts