Warbling Vireo

Hey guys, welcome back. Today we have our second vireo species, the warbling vireo. As you may remember from our first vireo species, vireos are birds that are very similar to warblers. They are small neotropic migrant insectivores, some of which are brightly colored. But they are not related to warblers at all, making them an example of convergent evolution!

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Warbling vireo, Magee Marsh, Cutice, OH

The warbling vireo is a pretty nondescript bird. They’re a sort of olive above and whitish yellow below. They have a slight face pattern featuring a light “eyebrow” and darker eyeline but it’s not very contrasting. Their song is probably the most distinct thing about them. It’s a long varied warbling song that almost always ends on a high note. Warbling vireos are common birds in the summer throughout much of the US as their breeding range doesn’t extend far into Canada. The warbling vireo was one of the few migrants that regularly nested in Central Park, where I got to know their song well.

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Warbling vireo with an insect, Gateway Arch National Park, St. Louis, MO

The first one I ever saw was here in Ohio, before I moved back. I knew it was a vireo, and was very proud of myself for correctly identifying such a drab-looking bird! No offense to the warbling vireo. In St. Louis they were everywhere! At the Gateway Arch alone one day in April I saw almost a dozen! Some of them quite photogenic like the one at the top of today’s post. We’re going to stick with vireos for next time when we look at the warbling vireo’s red-eyed cousin. See you then!

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