A large (5-6 inches) vireo, the Blue-headed Vireo is most easily identified by its olive-green back and tail, pale breast, white wing bars, and bluish-gray head with white eye-rings. This species may be separated from the similar Black-capped Vireo (Vireo atricapillus) by that species’ smaller size and darker head. Male and female Blue-headed Vireos are similar to one another in all seasons. The Blue-headed Vireo primarily breeds across southern Canada and the northeastern United States. Smaller numbers breed at higher elevations in the Appalachian Mountains as far south as northern Alabama. Blue-headed Vireos spend the winter in the southeastern U.S., eastern Mexico, and northern Central America. Blue-headed Vireos breed in a number of dense woodland habitats with a mixture of deciduous and evergreen trees. During the winter, this species may be found in a variety of habitat types, including deciduous and evergreen woodland, bushy fields, and humid tropical forests. Blue-headed Vireos primarily eat small insects during the summer, but also eat small quantities of fruits and berries during the winter. In appropriate habitat, Blue-headed Vireos may be seen foraging for food on leaves and branches at middle heights in the tree canopy. Birdwatchers may also listen for this species’ song, a series of fluty notes similar to but somewhat higher-pitched than that of the Red-eyed Vireo. Blue-headed Vireos are primarily active during the day, but, like many migratory songbirds, this species migrates at night.
- James, Ross D. 1998. Blue-headed Vireo (Vireo solitarius), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America Online: http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna/species/379
- Peterson, Roger Tory. Birds of Eastern and Central North America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1980. Print.
- eBird Range Map - Blue-headed Vireo. eBird. Cornell Lab of Ornithology, N.d. Web. 20 July 2012. http://ebird.org/ebird/map/buhvir.
- Vireo solitarius. Xeno-canto. Xeno-canto Foundation, n.d. Web. 20 July 2012. http://xeno-canto.org/browse.php?query=Vireo+solitarius.
- Blue-headed Vireo (Vireo solitarius). The Internet Bird Collection. Lynx Edicions, n.d. Web. 20 July 2012. http://ibc.lynxeds.com/species/blue-headed-vireo-vireo-solitarius.
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