Monday, September 13, 2010

Vireos - a warbler's best friends

As if a mixed flock of fall warblers is not confusing enough, they are often accompanied by a mixed variety of vireos in addition to the ever present chickadees (whose alarm calls often help draw the attention of warblers!). Vireos are specialized at gleaning caterpillars from leaves with their strong hooked bills. During our stay in Canada last week, I encountered all five expected vireo species. The Red-eyed Vireo was by far the most numerous (perhaps the most abundant forest bird in eastern US and Canada), followed by Philadelphia Vireo (replaces Red-eyed Vireo in parts of NE Canada), Blue-headed Vireo (by far the prettiest vireo!), a few Yellow-throated Vireos near Kingston (of which one was singing all morning), and finally one singing Warbling Vireo near Kingston.

Red-eyed Vireo (above and below):

Philadelphia Vireo (above and below):

Blue-headed Vireo (above and below):

1 comment:

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