Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Smoke-colored Pewee (Contopus fumigatus)


French: Moucherolle bistré German: Schieferschnäppertyrann Spanish: Pibí ahumado

T[yrannus]. fumigatus

d’Orbigny and Lafresnaye

, 1837,

Yungas of Bolivia


Formerly considered conspecific with C. pertinax and C. lugubris. Race ardosiacus sometimes suggested to be a separate species, presumably owing to its darker overall plumage, but it is otherwise not distinctive. Validity of some other races questionable. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. f. ardosiacus (Lafresnaye, 1844) – Sierra de Perijá and Andes of Colombia (except SW), extreme W & SW Venezuela, E Ecuador and E Peru (S to Cuzco).
  • C. f. cineraceus (Lafresnaye, 1848) – N Venezuela (Yaracuy and Coastal Range from Carabobo to Miranda).
  • C. f. duidae (Chapman, 1929) – S Venezuela (N & C Amazonas, Bolívar) and adjacent Guyana.
  • C. f. zarumae (Chapman, 1924) – SW Colombia (Nariño) and W Ecuador to NW Peru (Cajamarca).
  • C. f. fumigatus (d’Orbigny & Lafresnaye, 1837) – SE Peru (Puno) S to W Bolivia (Cochabamba).
  • C. f. brachyrhynchus Cabanis, 1883 – SE Bolivia (W Santa Cruz) S to NW Argentina (Tucumán).
  • Descriptive notes

    16–17 cm; 18·2 g. Nominate race has dark grey crown with crest, indistinct paler supraloral stripe; upperparts fairly uniform grey, sometimes tinged olive, rump sooty... read more


    Most frequent call a loud “pip pip pip”; also repeated clear whistled “peeew”. Rarely heard song a... read more


    Humid montane forest, forest borders and clearings with scattered trees. Usually at 1000–2500... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects. Searches for prey from low to high perch, often exposed dead branch, top of tree, or lower fallen tree; perches erect. Captures... read more


    Cup-nest made of moss and lichen, saddled on horizontal branch high in tree. In NE Ecuador, nine active nests found in Sept–Dec;... read more


    Probably resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Fairly common to common. Has relatively large range and is tolerant of disturbed habitat. Occurs in many national parks and other... read more

    Recommended citation

    Farnsworth, A. & Lebbin, D. (2019). Smoke-colored Pewee (Contopus fumigatus). 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).