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In fresh plumage
 Similar Species
Yellow-bellied and Least Flycatcher are smaller; Yellow-bellied also darker yellow-brown beneath and smaller billed, and Least grayer above and whiter below and has a smaller bill. Alder and Willow Flycatchers are browner above and whiter below, and with less obvious eye rings. Western Empidonax flycatchers have darker lower mandibles, and either whiter underparts (Gray and Dusky Flycatchers), darker breasts (Hammond's Flycatcher), or oval eye rings (Pacific Slope and Cordilleran Flycatchers) as well as only rarely occurring in the same areas on passage and the winter grounds. Pewees are obviously larger, browner above, whiter below and lack obvious eye rings.
Breeds in the eastern United States, and just into the extreme south of Canada in southwestern Ontario. In the US, west to southeastern South Dakota, central Kansas and southern Texas, east to southern New England, and south to the Gulf Coast, and central Florida. Most abundant in Virginia and West Virginia. Migrates mainly through eastern Mexico; scarce on the western Caribbean islands. Winters in Central America and northern South America, from Nicaragua southwest to Ecuador and east to Venezuela.
Listed as Endangered in Canada, with only around 25-75 pairs annually, all close to Lake Erie.
This is a monotypic species.
Breeds in mature moist deciduous or mixed forests of preferably over 40 hectares size with shrubby understory, often close to running water. Less common in, but will use, conifer plantations. In smaller, fragmented forests suffers high levels of nest parasitism by Brown-headed Cowbirds.
The diet includes insects which they catch by hawking and gleaning, and some berries and seeds.
The song is a loud peet-sa. The call is a soft peet.
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