Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Dark Pewee (Contopus lugubris)


French: Moucherolle ombré German: Trauerschnäppertyrann Spanish: Pibí oscuro

Contopus lugubris


, 1865,

Barranca, Costa Rica


Closely related to C. pertinax and C. fumigatus; formerly considered a race of latter. Monotypic.


Mountains of Costa Rica and extreme W Panama.

Descriptive notes

16·5 cm; 23 g. Large, crested pewee. Has head and upperparts uniform dark sooty olive-grey, darkest on crown; wings and tail blackish, wing-coverts faintly tipped grey (... read more


Frequently repeated call a loud “wic”, “whip” or “pip pip pip”; also loud “weer”. Dawn song, from... read more


Humid montane forest, forest borders and clearings with scattered trees; 1200–2150 m in Costa... read more

Food and feeding

Insects. Searches for prey from high perch, often exposed dead branch or top of tree, stance upright; captures prey with long sallies,... read more


Mar–Jun. Nest a broad shallow cup made of green moss, liverworts and lichens, bound by spiderweb, lined with rootlets and coarse... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Costa Rica and Panama Highlands EBA. Uncommon to fairly common. Highland forests in species’ range have been... read more

Recommended citation

Farnsworth, A. & Lebbin, D. (2019). Dark Pewee (Contopus lugubris). 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 12 December 2019).