Common Name

Scientific Name

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Photo by Unknown Photographer
Photo Courtesy of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

The western wood-pewee, Contopus sordidulus, breeds in Alaska, western Canada, the western United States, Mexico, and Central America. Most individuals are migratory, moving to South America for winter. The western wood-pewee is a common breeder in Utah during summer. Preferred habitats of the species include forests (especially coniferous forests), woodlands, and riparian zones.

The nest is built above ground, typically in a tree. The female lays a clutch of two to four eggs during spring, and then incubates the eggs for about 12 twelve days.

The western wood-pewee is active during the day, often sitting on a perch to watch for prey. It feeds almost exclusively on flying insects that are captured in the air.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Peterson, R. T., and V. M. Peterson. 1990. A field guide to western birds, 3rd ed. Houghton Mifflin, Boston. 432 pp.