Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Cuban Pewee (Contopus caribaeus)


French: Moucherolle tête-fou German: Kubaschnäppertyrann Spanish: Pibí cubano
Other common names: Greater Antillean Pewee (when lumped with C. pallidus and C. hispaniolensis)

Muscipeta caribaea


, 1839,



Formerly treated as conspecific with C. pallidus and C. hispaniolensis. Status of form florentinoi (Cayo Anclitas, off S Cuba) unclear, and date of description uncertain; possibly valid#R, but here provisionally included in nerlyi. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. c. bahamensis (H. Bryant, 1859) – N Bahamas (Grand Bahama, Great Abaco, New Providence, Eleuthera, Cat and Andros).
  • C. c. caribaeus (d’Orbigny, 1839) – Cuba and I of Pines.
  • C. c. morenoi Burleigh & Duvall, 1948 – mangroves on S coast of Cuba and nearby cays.
  • C. c. nerlyi Garrido, 1978 – Jardines de la Reina Archipelago and nearby islands, off S Cuba.
  • Descriptive notes

    15–16·5 cm; 8·5–13·5 g (nominate), 10·3–12·2 g (bahamensis). Nominate race has dark olive-grey crown, tufted... read more


    Generally rather vocal, often throughout day. Song a prolonged descending “weeeooooo”.... read more


    Broadleaf and pine (Pinus) forests, forest edge, swamps, mangroves, brushy scrub, and tree... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mainly insects; some fruit. Searches from low perch; sallies out to capture prey in the air (sometimes with loud snap of bill), often... read more


    Feb–Mar in Bahamas, Mar–Jun in Cuba. Nest a cup made of fine rootlets and hair, covered by lichen and moss, typically placed in... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common. Widespread from coast to moderate elevations. Occurs in Güira National Park, in Cuba.

    Recommended citation

    Farnsworth, A. & Lebbin, D. (2019). Cuban Pewee (Contopus caribaeus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 7 December 2019).