Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Eastern Wood-pewee (Contopus virens)


French: Pioui de l’Est German: Hellbauch-Schnäppertyrann Spanish: Pibí oriental

[Muscicapa] virens


, 1766,

Carolina, USA


Has been considered to include C. sordidulus. Monotypic.


SE Canada (Saskatchewan E to Maritime provinces) and S in USA to SC Texas, Gulf Coast states and C Florida. Winters mainly from Colombia and Venezuela S to N Bolivia and W Brazil, casually as far N as Costa Rica.

Descriptive notes

13·5–15 cm; 14g. Has peaked crown dark greyish-brown to greyish-olive, faintly paler lores, indistinct thin eyering (sometimes absent); head sides, nape and... read more


Song, by male, consists of slurred “pee-ah-wee”, second note lower, and alternating... read more


Breeds in variety of coniferous and deciduous forest habitats, often near clearings or edges; often... read more

Food and feeding

Insects less than 15 mm long, including dipterans, homopteran bugs, lepidopterans, hymenopterans, coleopterans; rarely, fruit. Searches for... read more


May–Sept. Nest a shallow woven cup of grass, bark strips, twigs, roots, moss, pine needles and leaves, outside covered with lichen,... read more


Long-distance migrant, wintering in South America. Migrates at night. Departs breeding grounds mid-... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Fairly common to common; common over much of breeding range. Global population estimated at 6,000,000 individuals. Locally common migrant in... read more

Recommended citation

Farnsworth, A. & Lebbin, D. (2020). Eastern Wood-pewee (Contopus virens). 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 3 April 2020).