EASTERN WOOD PEWEE(Contopus virens) – (See images below)
DESCRIPTION: The Eastern Wood Pewee is mostly grey with darker wings, which have two white bands. The flanks are lighter grey, and the belly whitish. There is a small crest at the back of the head. The bill is dark grey on top and orange below. The tail is long but the legs are short. Sexes are similar. The wing bands in the juveniles are yellowish. The overall length of this bird is around 15 cm (6 inches) .
VOICE: https://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Contopus-virens
NAME: As the English name implies, ‘pewee’ is an onomatopoeia for the bird’s song, ‘pee-a-wee’, with the first part descending and the last part ascending. The Latin genus name ‘contopus’ comes from Greek and means ‘small feet’, and ‘virens’ refers to the green color.
HABITAT: Deciduous forest edges, clearings.
DIET: Insects caught on the fly from a perch.
NESTING: The nest is placed in a tree and is a cup-shaped structure made of grass. An average of three white eggs are laid, which are incubated by the female while the male protects the territory.
DISTRIBUTION: The Maritimes region is situated at the northeast limit of this species’ breeding range, which covers the eastern half of the south part of Canada, and of the USA. It spends the winter in the northwest part of South America.
DISTRIBUTION MAP: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_wood_pewee#/media/File:Contopus_virens_map.svg
ON PEI: The eastern wood pewee breeds on Prince Edward Island and is common in spring and summer, but uncommon in the fall.
CONSERVATION: As per COSEWIC, this bird is a species of ‘special concern’ due to a serious population decline over the last few decades. Possible causes include loss and/or degradation of habitat on the birds’ breeding and wintering grounds, loss of insect prey due to over-browsing by white-tailed deer and other ‘unknown’ causes.
NOTES: The Eastern wood pewee is part of the flycatcher family. These birds have an upright posture and spend a good amount of time perched high in the forest canopy waiting for an insect to fly by, which they catch on the wing. They then most often return to the same perch.
SIMILAR SPECIES: Eastern Phoebe, Olive-sided Flycatcher
REFERENCES: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Eastern_Wood-Pewee/id
COSEWIC: http://www.registrelep-sararegistry.gc.ca/species/speciesDetails_e.cfm?sid=1198
https://www.mba-aom.ca/jsp/toc.jsp (Maritimes Breeding Bird Atlas)
https://nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/eastern-wood-pewee (Missouri Department of Conservation)

Eastern wood peewee - Tower Grove Park, St. Louis, MO - photo by Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren
Eastern wood peewee – Tower Grove Park, St. Louis, MO – photo by Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren