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Blue-headed Vireo

Vireo solitarius ORDER: PASSERIFORMES FAMILY: VIREONIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

The Blue-headed Vireo is a common and vocal bird of northeastern forests. Formerly lumped as a "Solitary Vireo" with the more western Plumbeous and Cassin's vireos, it is now considered a separate species.

Bird Festivals
ML Essential Set

At a GlanceHelp

Measurements
Both Sexes
Length
5.1–5.9 in
13–15 cm
Wingspan
7.9–9.4 in
20–24 cm
Weight
0.5–0.7 oz
13–19 g
Other Names
  • Solitary Vireo (eastern form)
  • Viréo á tête bleue (French)
  • Vireo anteojillo (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • The Blue-headed Vireo is the easternmost form in the "Solitary Vireo" complex. Formerly considered one species, three species now are recognized. In appearance it is the most brightly colored of the three.
  • The Blue-headed Vireo is the only vireo within its range that makes extensive use of coniferous forests, although it also occupies deciduous habitats.

Habitat


Forest

Cool forests.

Food


Insects

Medium to large insects, some fruit in winter.

Nesting

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size
3–5 eggs
Egg Description
Color: Creamy white with sparse dark spots around larger end.

Size: 17-23.1 mm x 13.3-15.8 mm
(0.7-0.9 in x 0.5-0.6 in)

Incubation period: 13-15 days.
Condition at Hatching
Helpless with tufts of down.
Chicks fledge in 13-14 days.
Nest Description

Open cup suspended by rim from a fork of a branch of a tree or sapling. Woven of spider web, bark strips, grasses, dead leaves, moss, and hair, decorated with spider egg cases and birch bark. Inner lining of grasses, rootlets, and conifer twigs or needles.

Nest Placement

Tree

Blue-headed Vireo Nest Image 1
© 2004 Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Blue-headed Vireo Nest Image 2
© 2004 Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Behavior


Foliage Gleaner

Forages in middle levels of forest. Gleans insects from outer twigs and foliage. Forages in slow and deliberate manner.

Conservation

status via IUCN

Least Concern

Populations increasing slightly.

Credits

  • James, R. D. 1998. Blue-headed Vireo (Vireo solitarius). In The Birds of North America, No. 379 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.

Range Map Help

Blue-headed Vireo Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings