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Eastern Wood-Pewee

Posted on Jun 4, 2016

I recently mentioned that we still have flycatchers coming into the region as spring migration wraps up, and even into early June you may find individuals at migratory stopover sites. One such bird was this Eastern Wood-Pewee (Contopus viren), and he provided far better looks here than most do in the depths of the dark forest or higher up in the canopy. Finding him was easy thanks to that “peeeeaaaweeee” call, and he is belting it out in the second photo.

Eastern Wood Pewee-5093

Eastern Wood Pewee-5085

Eastern Wood Pewee-5079

Identifying flycatchers by voice makes life so much easier, especially when you cannot always rely on habitat thanks to migration or do not get a very good look thanks to their habits. It may seem like some of these birds are returning on the late side, but think about some of the early May conditions we experienced in and around western New York and northwestern Pennsylvania – species like this cannot afford to ever meet snow or freezing temperatures. They return only when it is nearly impossible to experience any freeze.

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation & Outreach Coordinator