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Blue-headed Vireo

Blue-headed Vireo
Blue-headed Vireo

© Wayne Wendel

Vireo solitarius

Family: (Vireonidae) Vireos

Preferred Habitat: Woodlands

Seasonal Occurrence: Common November through March. Lesser numbers in October and April

Profile by Meghan Anne:  The Blue-headed Vireo winters in the southeast US including the southeast portion of Texas. It breeds throughout most of Canada, and between New England and northern Georgia in the US. The identification of the Blue-headed Vireo is as straightforward as the name implies. It has a blue-gray head with white spectacles, yellowish flanks, a white belly and two white wing bars.

This vireo was previously lumped with Plumbeous and Cassin's Vireo as one species, called the Solitary Vireo. The Blue-headed Vireo is the most brightly colored of the three and is the only one that resides in the eastern US. As their previous common (and current scientific) name indicates, they are often found alone and will be foraging methodically for insects in the middle to upper levels of trees. In the winter they also add small berries and fruits to make up more than a quarter of their diet. Their habitat is mixed conifer-deciduous forest and in the winter they are found regularly at our Edith L. Moore Sanctuary and High Island sanctuaries.

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