Merlin

Blue-headed Vireo

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Blue-headed Vireo

Vireo solitarius
  • ORDER: Passeriformes
  • FAMILY: Vireonidae
Basic Description

The Blue-headed Vireo offers a pleasing palette of moss green, bluish gray, and greenish yellow, set off by bold white “spectacles” (the eyering plus a “loral” spot next to the bill), throat, and belly. The wings and tail are a sharp black and white wings. Like most larger vireos, Blue-headed forages for insects and their larvae in trees, moving deliberately along branches, where it can be challenging to spot. Males sing a slow, cheerful carol, often the first indication of the species’ presence in a forest.

More ID Info
image of range map for Blue-headed VireoRange map provided by Birds of North AmericaExplore Maps

Find This Bird

During summer, Blue-headed Vireos forage in the canopy of mature forests. They sing frequently, but it helps to learn how to distinguish their songs from Yellow-throated, Red-eyed, and Philadelphia Vireos. (Slower and sweeter than Red-eyed; less burry than Yellow-throated; less repetitive than Philadelphia.) Once a singing bird is located, a little patience in scanning through the foliage will usually be rewarded. During migration and winter, Blue-headed Vireos are readily attracted to pishing or similar sounds; also try imitating their mewling alarm call.

Other Names
  • Vireo Solitario (Spanish)
  • Viréo à tête bleue (French)

Backyard Tips

Blue-headed Vireos don’t come to feeders, but leaving thickets, hedgerows, and vegetation tangles along forest edges (if you have them) will improve chances to see many migrating birds.

  • Cool Facts

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