Blue-headed Vireo

Blue-headed Vireo


Profile Blue-headed Vireo
[Authority] Wilson, 1810 | [group] Vireos and allies | [order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Vireonidae | [latin] Vireo solitarius | [UK] Blue-headed Vireo | [FR]

[Authority] Wilson, 1810 | [group] Vireos and allies | [order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Vireonidae | [latin] Vireo solitarius | [UK] Blue-headed Vireo | [FR] Vireo a tete bleue | [DE] Graukopf-Vireo | [ES] Vireo anteojillo | [NL] Brilvireo | copyright picture

White -spectacles,- gray head, olive or gray back, snow-white
throat. Two wing bars. In East, the earliest spring vireo. Note regional variations: colorful -Blue-headed- Vireo in East, duller -Cassins- Vireo on West Coast, and very gray -Plumbeous- Vireo in Rockies and Great Basin region.

Mixed coniferous-deciduous woods. Breeds in rather open woods, usually containing a mixture of conifers and deciduo
us trees. Details of habitat differ by region: those in the Northeast often in moist coniferous woods, those in the Rockies often in pinyon-juniper areas, those on Pacific Coast often in oak woodland. Migrants occur in any kind of woodland.

Mostly insects.
In summer, feeds almost entirely on insects, including caterpillars, stink bugs, beetles, wasps, bees, ants, moths, tree crickets, and many others; also spiders. Also eats some berries and small fruits, especially in winter, when they may
make up more than one-fourth of diet.
Forages rather deliberately in upper part of trees, searching for insects along branches and twigs as well as among leaves. Sometimes flies out to catch insects in midair or searches for items on bark of major limbs.

This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence 30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern. [conservation status from]

Male sings frequently throughout the day to defend nesting territory. In courtship display, male may fluff up plumage and bob his body up and down while singing.
Nest: Placed in horizontal fork of branch in tree, often quite low (3-12
above the ground), can be up to 35 or higher. Nest (built by both sexes) is a rather bulky open cup, suspended by its rim from the forked twig. Nest is made of grass, strips of bark, weeds, plant fibers, rootlets, lined with plant down and hair. Outside
of nest may be decorated with moss, pine needles, pieces of paper.
Clutch 3-5, usually 4. Whitish, lightly spotted with brown and black. Incubation is by both parents, probably about 12-14 days. In some areas, nests are often parasitized by cowbirds.
Young: Both parents feed the nestlings. Young leave the nest about 2 weeks after hatching.

Canada to El Salvador. Winters southern United States to Nicaragua, Cuba. Migration:
In general, the Solitary migrates earlier in spring and later in fall than other vireos. The two western forms, -Cassins- and -Plumbeous,- both winter in small numbers in the Southwest, and the eastern form winters commonly in the Southeast.


  1. Measurements
  2. spanwidth min.: 20 cm
  3. spanwidth max.: 24 cm
  4. size min.: 13 cm
  5. size max.: 15 cm
  6. Breeding
  7. incubation min.: 13 days
  8. incubation max.: 15 days
  9. fledging min.: 13 days
  10. fledging max.: 14 days
  11. broods 1
  12. eggs min.: 3
  13. eggs max.: 5
  14. Conservation Status
  15. Blue-headed Vireo status Least Concern


  1. Vireo solitarius alticola
  2. Vireo solitarius solitarius
  3. Vireo solitarius
  4. NA e
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