This species, along with Cassin's Vireo and Plumbeous Vireo, was formerly known as Solitary Vireo. Blue-headed is the northern and eastern member of this complex. The back is olive green, and contrasts with the blue-gray head. The wings are blackish, with two pale yellow wing bars and yellowish edges on the secondaries. The face shows bold white spectacles. There is usually a strong contrast and sharp demarcation between the gray cheek and the white throat. The underparts are white, with yellow to yellow-green on the sides and flanks. Juveniles are similar to adults, but paler overall. In Fall, bright Cassin's Vireos can may be confused with this species. Their ranges do not overlap, but Blue-headed Vireo is an annual fall vagrant in the West.
Length: 13 (cm) Wingspan: 22 (cm)
Song is a rather relaxed series of rolling phrases: cheerio, seeya, chee-oo. Tones are usually clear, not buzzy as in similar Cassin's and Plumbeous Vireos. Call is a harsh cha, often repeated in rapid succession.
Breeds in coniferous and mixed forest. May use any wooded habitat in migration.
Like most vireos, this species doesn't move along continuously (like a warbler) as it feeds. Instead it moves, stops, and then swivels its head about looking for grubs and insects.
Feeds by gleaning or sallying for insects on vegetation. Usually feeds at mid-levels, avoiding the ground and the top of the canopy layer.
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