Species at Risk

Eastern Wood-Pewee

Eastern Wood-Pewee (Contopus virens)

Status in Canada: Special Concern

Status in Ontario: Not yet Listed

Status at SWCR: Abundant and widespread breeding bird

This migratory songbird is common to the Norfolk region, but declining throughout its range.

Quick Facts:

  • This songbird has a distinct call: “PEE-a-wee”.
  • It eats flying insects, hunting them from high perches in dead trees.
  • It breeds as far north as the southern edge of the Hudson Bay Lowlands.
  • Populations are declining throughout its range, but the cause of these declines is still largely unknown.

Threats at the St. Williams Conservation Reserve:

Unknown: population-wide declines are likely related to changes in flying insect populations and residential development.

Activities that can damage critical Eastern wood pewee habitat include:

  1. Activities that can introduce or encourage the growth of invasive plants, such as dumping of garden waste and off-trail ATV use.

St. Williams Conservation Reserve management practices:

  • Population monitoring
  • Forest thinning activities
  • Invasive plant control
  • Enforcement of unauthorized trail use
  • Prescribed burns

What you can do to help:

  • Follow the code of conduct for recreational activities in the Conservation Reserve and know and respect the current trail-use regulations.
  • Clean you boots, bicycle tires, or ATV before and after visiting the SWCR or other natural areas to avoid spreading invasive plant seeds.
  • Report sightings to the SWCR CC, Bird Studies Canada (www.ebird.ca  or 1-888-448-2473), or the Natural Heritage Information Centre.
  • Report unauthorized trail use or any illegal activity related to plants and wildlife to 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667).

More information:

Species At Risk Public Registry Profile

Ontario Species at Risk Profile

Funding for this project was provided through the Species At Risk Stewardship Fund