Philadelphia Vireo

Hey guys, welcome back. Today is a vireo often overlooked; the Philadelphia vireo. The Philadelphia vireo can be a tricky ID. It looks very similar to the warbling vireo, but with slightly more contrast in the face stripes (though not as much as the red-eyed vireo.) The key feature is its yellow breast. Although sometimes more yellow than other times. Their song helps too. It’s more similar to the red-eyed vireo’s but is a higher pitch. Although the ID isn’t as tricky as, say, telling an alder from a willow flycatcher, they do required a good look and are often passed over at quick glance as something else.

The Philadelphia vireo breeds further north than most other vireo species; mostly in Canada. You can find pockets of breeding Philadelphias in extreme northern Minnesota, the Upper Penninsula of Michigan, and upper New England.

The first one I ever saw was while on a bird walk in Central Park led by NYC Audubon. We had just entered the North Woods when our guide David spotted a vireo. It sat there out in the open for us, and he was able to determine it was, in fact, a Philadelphia. Although found here in Ohio, I’ve yet to see one here. I did see a few more during my time in NY and MO however. Next up is a bird I’ve only seen once in Central Park; the clay-colored sparrow. See you all next time!

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