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NJ USA - Eastern Wood-Pewee? (1 Viewer)

JohnJos

Well-known member
Seen & photographed in Cape May, NJ this past weekend. I believe this to be an Eastern Wood-Pewee, maybe a young bird, but would like confirmation. I ruled out Eastern Phoebe (no tail pumping and presence of wing bars) but it could be a Empidonax flycatcher like a Least or Willow maybe. Thanks in advance for your help.

John
 

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THE_FERN

Well-known member
Not convinced this is Eastern Wood-pewee: suggest rather something like alder /willow. Some reasons: bill colour, wing bar colour (chestnut), primary projection too short, no evidence of "crest" (peaked back of head)
 

birdmeister

Well-known member
United States
Bit of a tough angle, I guess, but I'm still going with Wood-pewee here. A bit too much gray on the sides for Alder/Willow in my opinion. Also, I see gray smudging on the undertail coverts, which all Empidonax should lack.
 

The Bird Nuts

Birding Duo
Its bill is too large for a phoebe, in my opinion, and something about the head (shape, size, proportions?) isn't right either. Not 100% certain, but I also vote EAWP.
 

JohnJos

Well-known member
Thanks everyone for your input. I'm pretty sure this is an Eastern Wood-Pewee. Probably a juvenile. The wing bars rule out a Phoebe based upon my sightings of several Phoebes that weekend and my review of all the field guides I have at my disposal.
 

Birdbrain22

Well-known member
Hmm, I typed out my thoughts on this bird a few days back and guess I did not hit post...Doh!

Anyway I am fully in agreement for juvenile Eastern Wood Pewee here... buffy wing bars fit fine, the overall coloring and shape/proportions fit fine as well.
 

D Halas

Well-known member
Thanks everyone for your input. I'm pretty sure this is an Eastern Wood-Pewee. Probably a juvenile. The wing bars rule out a Phoebe based upon my sightings of several Phoebes that weekend and my review of all the field guides I have at my disposal.

The wing bars don't rule out a Phoebe; juveniles can have distinct chestnut wing bars, though for some reason most field guides don't show this plumage. Here's an example from the Macaulay library of a bird that's very similar in appearance to your photo:

https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/68809221
 

JohnJos

Well-known member
Thanks for the further assessment. Certainly these images help clear up the ID. I had noticed that the primary projection of the bird in my photo seemed too short for a EAWP and more like a EAPH. True, I have not seen any of the field books or even Cornell's BoNA Online show these wing bars. But the provided images certainly help confirm the bird as a juvenile Eastern Phoebe. I'll need to use the Macaulay library more often. Thanks everyone.
John
 

The Bird Nuts

Birding Duo
I am certain it's not a phoebe. Notice how large- and round-headed and "cute" the phoebes in the photos are. Young EAWP fits the coloring and shape of your bird as birdbrain22 (who is a very reliable bird identifier) has mentioned.
 

tom baxter

Well-known member
I am certain it's not a phoebe. Notice how large- and round-headed and "cute" the phoebes in the photos are. Young EAWP fits the coloring and shape of your bird as birdbrain22 (who is a very reliable bird identifier) has mentioned.

I’m not sure myself but the head shape was my main concern with phoebe as well. I would have called it a pewee.
 

JohnJos

Well-known member
This is a tough call obviously. While the photos in Macaulay help support Phoebe, I reviewed photos in Macaulay for EAWP and there are several of juvenile birds that look similar to my image. At this point I'm sticking with my original ID of Peewee based on the photo as well as my field observations. Thanks all!
 
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