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Philadelphia Vireo

ID Info
Silhouette VireosVireos
Philadelphia VireoVireo philadelphicus
  • ORDER: Passeriformes
  • FAMILY: Vireonidae

Basic Description

The slight, almost dainty Philadelphia Vireo is fairly common in dense young woodlands of Canada’s boreal summertime. Smaller, shorter-billed, and less aggressive than a Red-eyed Vireo, this olive-brown bird moves methodically through upper reaches of young trees searching for caterpillars. Although similar to the widespread Warbling Vireo, it’s usually yellower below with a bolder head pattern. The song is a rising-and-falling series of short whistles, quite different from Warbling but very similar to Red-eyed, making this species both a challenge and a prize to find during migration.

More ID Info
image of range map for Philadelphia VireoRange map provided by Birds of the WorldExplore Maps

Find This Bird

For many birdwatchers Philadelphia Vireos are a treat to be found during migration. In spring, they are later migrants, appearing high in canopies largely in May. At migration hotspots such as Crane Creek, Ohio; Point Pelee, Ontario; or along the western Gulf Coast, recently arrived birds often feed lower in vegetation. Listen closely and search out any “funny-sounding” (slow-singing) vireo. In autumn, Philadelphias join mixed flocks and eat fruit at forest edges and second growth (just watch out for dull Red-eyed and bright Warbling Vireos).

Other Names

  • Vireo de Filadelfia (Spanish)
  • Viréo de Philadelphie (French)
  • Cool Facts

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