Contopus pertinax


The Greater Pewee will sit upright, typically on a high perch, looking for flying insects, which it will grab in mid-air. It will then return to the same or a nearby perch. The bird will typcially move around a feeding area from one perch to another, which are often several hundred meters apart.


Grayish-olive upperparts. Pale gray-white underparts. Throat paler than slightly darker breast. Yellowish belly and undertail coverts. Indistict wing bars. Slender crest gives head a triangular shape. Fairly large bill with dark upper mandible and orange lower mandible. Sexes similar. Juveniles may show two buffy wing bars. 7 to 7.75 inches in length.


Highland coniferous forests, especially pine and pine-oak. U.S. range is usually restricted to parts of Arizona (central to southeast) and southwestern New Mexico.


3-4 dull white or creamy white eggs with some brown spotting toward the larger end. The eggs have a ? day incubation period. Fledging occurs in ? days. The nest is an open cup made from grass, pine needles, shredded bark, and feathers. Lichens and spider webs cover the outside of the nest. Spider silk is also used to attach the nest to a horizontal branch.

Observed Locations:

  • Agua Dulce, Mount Laguna

  Listen To This Bird ( mp3 )
         Song #1

Click on an image to see the larger version.

Vic Murayama
Nikon D2X
600mm f/4 and 1.7x

Matt Heindel



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