Blue-headed Vireo 6/10/18

Up until about 20 years ago when DNA studies began rewriting the relationships between bird species, Blue-headed Vireos were lumped together with the similar looking Cassin’s and Plumbeous Vireos of the west and southwest, and were together called the Solitary Vireo. Today they are recognized as 3 distinct species. All have prominent white “spectacles,” but the Blue-headed Vireo is the easternmost of the group, and most colorful with the bluest head and greenest body. They are small migratory songbirds with much stouter bills than the warblers, and like all vireos, there’s little to no distinction between the sexes. Vireos reside in the middle and upper canopies of hardwoods, where they are virtually impossible to see once the trees have leafed out, though the Blue-headed Vireo also makes use of mixed and coniferous woods.

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