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Blue-headed Vireo - BirdForum Opus

Photo by David Roach
Wakodahatchee, Florida, November 2004
Vireo solitarius


Length 13-15 cm, weight 14-19 g

  • White throat
  • Bright dark green back
  • Yellow-tinged wing bars and tertials
  • Greenish-yellow edges to dark secondaries
  • White outer tail feathers
  • Yellow sides and flanks

Adult Male:Solid blue-gray hood and white rings around eyes that look like the number 6.
Female and Immature: Grayish hood


Breeds in central and eastern Canada and the northeastern USA; winters from southeastern USA through eastern Mexico to Central America.


Blue-headed Vireo together with Plumbeous Vireo and Cassin's Vireo have recently been split; prior to the split, the combined species was called Solitary Vireo. Blue-headed Vireo inherited the scientific name Vireo solitarius from the parent species.


There are 2 subspecies[1]:

  • V. s. solitarius:
  • V. s. alticola:
  • Southern Appalachian Mountains to south-eastern US; winters to southern Florida. Slightly darker upperparts.


Common in woodlands.


Feeds on insects, spiders and small snails; moves slowly through trees. Also takes soft fruit (e.g. dogwood Cornus, elder Sambucus) in later summer and fall.


Song: Similar to Red-eyed Vireo, but slower.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9., with updates to August 2014. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/

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