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Western wood pewee (Contopus sordidulus)
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Tyrannidae
Genus: Contopus
Cabanis, 1855
Type species
Muscicapa virens
Linnaeus, 1766

See text.

The pewees are a genus, Contopus, of small to medium-sized insect-eating birds in the Tyrant flycatcher family Tyrannidae.

These birds are known as pewees, from the call of one of the more common members of this vocal group. They are generally charcoal-grey birds with wing bars that live in wooded areas.

The genus Contopus was introduced by the German ornithologist Jean Cabanis in 1855 with the eastern wood pewee as the type species.[1] The name of the genus combines the Ancient Greek words kontos "pole" or "shaft" and pous "foot".[2]

The genus contains 16 species:[3]

Image Scientific name Common Name Distribution
Contopus cooperi Olive-sided flycatcher Canada, Alaska and the northeastern and western United States
Contopus pertinax Greater pewee central and southern Mexico south through Costa Rica and Nicaragua
Contopus lugubris Dark pewee Talamancan montane forests of Costa Rica and western Panama.
Contopus fumigatus Smoke-colored pewee Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, and Venezuela
Contopus ochraceus Ochraceous pewee Costa Rica and western Panama
Contopus sordidulus Western wood pewee western North America
Contopus virens Eastern wood pewee Central America and in the Andes region of northern South America.
Contopus cinereus Southern tropical pewee southern Brazil and Paraguay south to Argentina.
Contopus bogotensis Northern tropical pewee southeastern Mexico to northern South America from northern Colombia to northeastern Brazil.
Contopus punensis Tumbes pewee western Ecuador and western Peru.
Contopus albogularis White-throated pewee Brazil, French Guiana, and Suriname.
Contopus nigrescens Blackish pewee Brazil, Ecuador, Guyana, and Peru.
Contopus caribaeus Cuban pewee Cuba and the northern Bahamas.
Contopus hispaniolensis Hispaniolan pewee island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean.
Contopus pallidus Jamaican pewee Jamaica
Contopus latirostris Lesser Antillean pewee Dominica, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Puerto Rico, and Saint Lucia


  1. ^ Cabanis, Jean (1855). "Contopus virens Cab". Journal für Ornithologie (in German). 3 (18): 479.
  2. ^ Jobling, J.A. (2018). del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J.; Christie, D.A.; de Juana, E. (eds.). "Key to Scientific Names in Ornithology". Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  3. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2018). "Tyrant flycatchers". World Bird List Version 8.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 1 July 2018.

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Contopus at Wikimedia Commons
  • Data related to Contopus at Wikispecies