Fun Eastern Wood-pewee Facts For Kids

Devangana Rathore
Jan 06, 2023 By Devangana Rathore
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Smriti Chaudhary
Read on for the most interesting, quick Eastern Wood Pewee facts and do not forget to share them with your friends
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.7 Min

Do you like migratory birds? Then the Eastern Wood Pewee is the perfect bird for you! Usually found in North America, these birds travel downwards to South America, the Caribbean, and even the Andes in order to breed and raise their children. These migratory birds are usually found living alone and do not enjoy company. Aggressive, solitary, and monogamous, these birds are some of the most prominent species of the Aves in and around North America. They live on moderately tall trees, with nests somewhere between 15-17 ft off the ground where they raise children in monogamous couples.

However, these speedy, solitary, and skilled hunters make for terrible pets and were differentiated from the Western Wood Pewee very recently. Until as late as the 1990s, it was believed that the Eastern and Western Pewee are the same species because their habitats overlapped, and they were seen eating similar diets. However, that myth has now been dispelled. Do you think you could tell apart these two similar birds? If you think not, then read on to know how! If you like reading about these birds, then do make sure to also check out the Toco Toucan and Gouldian finch too.

Eastern Wood Pewee Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an Eastern Wood Pewee?

The Eastern Wood Pewee (Contopus virens) is a type of bird.

What class of animal does an Eastern Wood Pewee belong to?

The Eastern Wood Pewees belong to the bird class (Aves). These North American birds are a type of flycatchers.  

How many Eastern Wood Pewees are there in the world?

Due to a lack of research, we do not know the number of Eastern Wood Pewees in the world.

Where does an Eastern Wood Pewee live?

The Eastern Wood Pewees live in the woods. Due to their habitat, they are categorized as flycatchers.

What is an Eastern Wood Pewee's habitat?

Eastern Wood Pewees live in Eastern North America for the most part, but when migrating, they will travel to locations like Nothern South America, the Caribbean, as well as the Andes and other regions. They live on moderately tall trees.

Who do Eastern Wood Pewees live with?

Eastern Wood Pewees lead a solitary life, staying by themselves until it's time for the breeding season.

How long does an Eastern Wood Pewee live?

The average age of the Eastern Wood Pewees is around five years, but there have been incidents where there have been birds that have aged up to eight years.

How do they reproduce?

The Eastern Wood Pewees reproduce by breeding (their breeding season being April to July). The Pewee (Eastern Wood), despite being very close to other species in this family geographically, show no signs of breeding with anyone other than any other Pewee (Eastern Wood).

What is their conservation status?

The IUCN List marks the Eastern Wood Pewees as of Least Concern. This is because the Wood Pewee (Eastern) has a very regular and safe breeding cycle.

Eastern Wood Pewee Fun Facts

What do Eastern Wood Pewees look like?

The Eastern Wood Pewees are relatively adorable birds. They are around six inches tall at the most and have an olive-gray tone of feathers on their body. They start off as gray, but towards the tip of their feathers, turn white-cream in shade. Their underside is similarly colored in lighter tones and has long, sharp claws to hold onto tree branches. Their beaks are extremely straight and narrow and are meant to capture flying insects. The top of their beak is black in shade, but the underside of it is a distinct orange-yellow in shade. The baby birds are born without such distinctions, and only gray-white fluff, which they shed in favor of their sleek wings.

Eastern Wood Pewee

How cute are they?

They are not the cutest birds out there, but these North American birds are not ugly either. They are average-looking species but you might enjoy looking at the baby birds, who are essentially balls of feathers and can be very cute indeed.

How do they communicate?

The Eastern Wood Pewee sound is a very distinctive call, which sounds like 'Pee-e-wee!' These calls and its unique song have earned the Wood Pewee (Eastern) its name. This call and song are very different from that of any other species in this family, and in general, in the order Passeriformes, family Tyrannidae.

How big is an Eastern Wood Pewee?

This species is between 5.3-5.9 in, which makes them almost thrice as big as the Bee Hummingbird, which is only two inches long. This makes the Wood Pewee (Eastern) average-sized for North American birds.

How fast can an Eastern Wood Pewee fly?

As per any prominent bird guide, there is no specific top speed at which these birds can fly. However, this is not to discount their skills as fliers. They are able to cut through the air at rapid speeds to capture insects.

How much does an Eastern Wood Pewee weigh?

This species weighs around 0.5 oz. Similar species have weight ranges like 0.4-0.6 oz too. This weight helps the birds because it keeps them light enough to not just maneuver their way away from potential predators, but also skillfully track the insects they eat.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There is no particular name for the male and female of this species. However, a group of these birds is called a squirt. So even though they never really gather together, if they did, you now know what to call them!

What would you call a baby Eastern Wood Pewee?

There is no specific name for the young of this species or even a juvenile Eastern Wood Pewee. However, if you visit a local zoo, you can definitely identify this young bird with their distinctive identification, such as song and singing. It takes around 22 days for them to hatch, after which they stay in the nests for around 20 days more. After this, they attempt to take flight. More often than not, they will fall to the forest floor where they learn to fly again. This is risky because they have many natural predators on the forest floors. Many do not survive, but those who do, become successful hunters and parents.

What do they eat?

This species eats flying insects, berries, and vegetables all across North America and South America. During times where there is no food, they will head to the forest floor to eat bugs off the ground and bring them back for their young. Since they spend most of their breeding season in the South, they are rarely ever short of food. When not in mating season, you can see the average bird catch up to 30 insects per day. In the peak season, when the young ones are just born, these same birds can catch twice as much, even scouring the forest floor for more insects for their babies.

Are they friendly?

No, this species is not very friendly. The Wood Pewee (Eastern) is in general unfriendly, but similar species click differently with humans and other creatures... Especially during the breeding season, these birds can be aggressive, going as far as to nip and bite other animals and birds who come too close.

Would they make a good pet?

The Pewee (Eastern Wood) will not make a good pet. This is because the Pewee (Eastern Wood)  is aggressive, prefers a solitary life, and gets no benefit out of being kept in a human home. As migratory birds, the Eastern Wood Pewee range is too large to be sufficiently contained in a human home.

Did you know...

The Eastern Wood Pewee nest is a very well hidden one! One of the best-disguised nests in the order Passeriformes, family Tyrannidae, this nest had avoided identification for a very long time. This was because the female and the male would construct a nest against the trees, and then hide it with moss, leaves, twigs, and more. This would hide the nest so well, that the young would be safe in it, and no one would be able to see it camouflaged in breeding season and longer.

The only means of identification of this nest used to be the singing and calls that emerged from inside of it usually in a lower tone, and by the young ones of the order Passeriformes, family Tyrannidae who do not know to stay quiet.

Climate threats facing the Eastern Wood-Pewee

One of the biggest threats faced by this bird family (order Passeriformes), is climate change. With disappearing forest cover and habitat, no places to nest or for breeding, and with even insects migrating elsewhere, a few sparse trees will not be enough to contain this population. With no trees to live on and no forest for the female and male in the breeding season, concerns are that these birds may be fast dying out. Even though they are categorized as Least Concern by the IUCN, scientists say that the increasing heatwaves, declining insect populations, and loss of habitat may ultimately add this bird to the long list of extinct creatures.

Eastern vs. Western Wood Pewee

There are very few major differences in the identification between the two birds, according to any bird guide. The Eastern Wood Pewee call and the Eastern Wood Pewee song are very different from that of the Western birds and their singing. Even though their habitats overlap a lot (and they even belong to the same family order Passeriformes), another difference between these birds is their coloring. The former birds have more cleaner tones, with olive-gray shades and a distinct neckband. The Western birds have a more soot-like look, with brown tones and dusty colors.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including kestrel bird, or short-eared owl.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Eastern Wood Pewee coloring pages.

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Written by Devangana Rathore

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Language, Master of Philosophy

Devangana Rathore picture

Devangana RathoreBachelor of Arts specializing in English Language, Master of Philosophy

Devangana is a highly accomplished content writer and a deep thinker with a Master's degree in Philosophy from Trinity College, Dublin. With a wealth of experience in copywriting, she has worked with The Career Coach in Dublin and is constantly looking to enhance her skills through online courses from some of the world's leading universities. Devangana has a strong background in computer science and is also an accomplished editor and social media manager. Her leadership skills were honed during her time as the literacy society president and student president at the University of Delhi.

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