Eastern Wood-pewee

eastern wood-pewee, Credit: Kelly Colgan-Azar CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Special Concern Nationally


• Small forest bird, up to 15 centimetres long
• Greyish-olive upper parts; pale on under parts; pale wing bars
• Distinctive three-part song: “pee-ah-wee”
• Eats insects


• In Canada, ranges from Saskatchewan to Nova Scotia
• Mostly found in southern and central Ontario, and as far north as Red Lake, Lake Nipigon and Timmins


• Habitat loss and degradation
• Decline in insect prey


• Federally protected under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994
• Not protected under the Endangered Species Act, 2007 or under the Species at Risk Act, 2002


From 1970 to 2011, the Breeding Bird Survey showed a decline of over 70 percent for eastern wood-pewee in Canada, with a 25 percent decline between 2001 and 2011.

eastern wood-pewee, Credit: Glen Peterson CC BY-NC 2.0


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  1. November 6, 2015    

    […] Eastern Wood-pewee (Contopus virens) […]

  2. November 18, 2015    

    […] Eastern Wood-pewee (Contopus virens) […]

  3. David T Kalbach David T Kalbach
    June 13, 2017    

    The pictured bird is an Olive-sided Flycatcher

  4. June 13, 2017    

    Hi David,

    Thanks very much for spotting this easy-to-miss oversight. Olive-sided flycatchers have more rounded beaks, and more grey wingbars than the eastern wood-pewee. The Eastern wood-pewee also has a bright eye-ring, bright wingbars and a more pointed beak than the olive-sided flycatcher.

    We will correct the photos today.


    ON Noah

  1. Species At Risk In Northern Ontario | on November 6, 2015 at 9:39 pm
  2. Birds – Northern Species At Risk | on November 18, 2015 at 9:39 pm

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