WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE


Contopus sordidulus


Description:

The Western Wood-Pewee catches most of its food by hawking from a perch. It primarily eats insects, spiders and a few wild berries. The name Contopus is Latin for "short foot", a reference to the bird's small feet; sordidulus refers to this bird's dirty, dusky color.


Appearance:

Grayish-olive upperparts and sides of breast. Whitish throat, belly, and undertail coverts. Triangular shaped head. Mostly dark bill, often orangish lower mandible. Two faint white wing bars. Sexes similar. Immature birds have buffy wing bars and entirely black bill. 5 to 6 inches in length.


Habitat:

Open broadleaf woodlands and pine forests.


Nesting:

3-4 white eggs with brown spots. The eggs have a 12-13 day incubation period. Fledging occurs in 14-18 days. The nest is a shallow open cup made from plant fibers and bound with spider silk to a horizontal branch. The female incubates the eggs.


Observed Locations:

  • Kitchen Creek Road (near Cibbets Flat), Mount Laguna
  • William Heise County Park, Julian





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