Greater pewee

Contopus pertinax

SUBFAMILY

Fluvicolinae

TAXONOMY

Contopus pertinax Cabanis and Heine, 1859. OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Coues' flycatcher, smoke-colored peewee; French: Moucherolle bistré German: Couestyrann; Spanish: Pibí Ahumado.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

8 in (20 cm). Plumage includes grayish olive head and upper-parts, whitish throat and chin, pale gray breast and underparts, a yellow wash on the belly, and a long tail appearing notched when folded. The slender, tufted crest is a distinctive identifier. Bill has a black upper mandible and an orange lower mandible.

DISTRIBUTION

Southern Arizona and New Mexico, south through Mexico and into Nicaragua.

HABITAT

Montane pine-oak woodlands and wooded canyons.

BEHAVIOR

Lives singly or in pairs. Frequently perches in dead pines. Whistles "ho-sa, ma-re-ah!" and chirps a steadily repeated "pip-pip-pip!" Defends nesting territory aggressively against larger birds, snakes, and squirrels. Migratory.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

From middle-level perch, hawks insects in midair.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Breeds monogamously once per year. Female builds a cup-shaped nest in the fork of a conifer or sycamore. Clutch consists of three to four eggs. Young are fed by both sexes.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened. Habitat vulnerable to logging of coniferous forest.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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