Saturday, September 28, 2019

Wood Pewee

**Note This blog is posted in an effort to illicit responses from people with experience identifying silent Wood Pewees in the field. A general discussion of Wood Pewee identification will follow at a later date.**

The following Wood Pewee was photographed yesterday on the French islands of St.Pierre et Miquelon (just off the south coast of Newfoundland).

I am requesting opinions and comments from those with experience separating Eastern and Western Wood Pewee.

The bird seems to have some characters that are good for Western Wood Pewee, including the overall very dusky coloration below, weak upper wing bar and seemingly entirely dark lower mandible. 

Eastern Wood Pewee is an annual rarity in Newfoundland, but this would be a late date even for that species.

Can we conclusively identify silent pit of range Wood Pewees?

Wood Pewee Identification
Wood Pewee St.Pierre et Miquelon Photo: Joël detcheverry

Wood Pewee Identification
Photo:Joël detcheverry


  1. It is certainly within the range for Western, but for such a rare bird, it is imperative (in my opinion), that the photos be supported with an accompanying audiotape for a conclusive determination. Of course, if the bird is not calling, that wouldn't be possible. I see so much variation in Eastern Wood-Pewee plumages and the amount of orange in the lower mandible, that I am skeptical. I have seen pewees that look like this in Belize, but don't recall if I have ever specifically heard one calling. These could have been silent Westerns, but one would think that if that was the case I would at least occasionally hear one calling.

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