Eastern Wood-Pewee

Contopus virens
Range Map

Eastern and Western Wood Pewees are nearly impossible to differentiate by eye. The eastern bird’s song sounds like pee-a-wee, and is the reason this group has been so named. Both eastern and western birds maintain a preference for their side of the continent, and where each spends their summers in North America.

During winters in South America, they stay on their respective sides of the continents too. The Western Wood-Pewee winters along a narrow strip in the western mountains, and the Eastern Wood-Pewee winters in northern South America and the upper Amazon Basin.

Modern science views the Eastern Wood-Pewee as monotypic (no subspecies recognised).

My expeditions in the spring of 2020 and 2021, and the fall of 2022 to south Texas during migration provided me with ample meetings with this bird. I noticed an abundance of Eastern Phoebes in the winter months in south Texas, but when migration kicked in, the phoebes thinned out and the Eastern Wood-Pewees showed up to take their places.



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