Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Western Wood-pewee (Contopus sordidulus) - HBW 9, p. 368

French: Pioui de l’Ouest German: Westlicher Waldschnäppertyrann Spanish: Pibí Occidental
Other common names: Western Pewee

Taxonomy: Contopus sordidulus P. L. Sclater, 1859, Orizaba, Mexico.
Thought by some possibly to form a superspecies with C. virens and C. cinereus; has been considered conspecific with former. Geographical variation subtle, size increasing to N, colour becoming richer in moist environments such as Pacific NW. Proposed races siccicola (described from Idaho, USA) and amplus (Montana, USA) merged with veliei, and griscomi (Guerrero, in Mexico) with nominate. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • saturatus Bishop, 1900 - breeds SE Alaska and NW & W Canada S in USA to W Oregon; winters N South America (probably mainly Colombia and Venezuela).
  • veliei Coues, 1866 - breeds E Alaska S through interior mainly to N Mexico, E in USA to N & W Great Plains states and S to W Texas; winters probably South America (S possibly to Peru, Bolivia and N Argentina).
  • peninsulae Brewster, 1891 - breeds W Mexico (S Baja California); winters probably NW South America.
  • sordidulus P. L. Sclater, 1859 - breeds highlands of Mexico S at least to Honduras, possibly to NC Nicaragua and Costa Rica; winters S to Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.