Blue-headed Vireo  ( Viréo à tête bleue  )      This species is of special interest to Timiskaming birders.    All sightings should be documented and reported.

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Vireo solitarius

 (No high quality local photo available yet for this species.) 

General Notes

The Blue-headed Vireo is a common and vocal bird of northeastern forests. Until recently, the Blue-headed Vireo was called the Solitary Vireo. In 1997, the Solitary Vireo was split into three separate species: Cassin's Vireo (Vireo cassinii), Plumbeous Vireo (Vireo plumbeus), and Blue-headed Vireo (Vireo solitarius). This split was based on molecular genetic studies that revealed significant divergence in mitochondrial DNA.

The three species of this complex were already recognized as having recognizable plumage differences, and occupy distinctly different ranges. Cassin's Vireo occurs west of the Rocky Mountains from southwestern Canada to California.  Plumbeous Vireo occupies the USA east of the Rocky Mountains from Montana to western Mexico, and the Blue-headed Vireo occupies Canada east of the Rockies and the northeastern US.

The Blue-headed Vireo is the only vireo within its range that makes extensive use of coniferous forests, although it also occupies deciduous habitats.

The population of Blue-headed Vireo appears to be increasing significantly, according to a recent analysis of Breeding Bird Survey records conducted by National Audubon Society scientists. It is possible that the North American population has increased by as much as 525% in the last 40 years. There is sufficient data about this species to have a fairly high level of statistical confidence in this magnitude of growth.

Abundance: Occasional Earliest observed date:  

Typical arrival date:

May 10
Breeding Status: Breeding Latest observed date:  

Typical departure date:

September 4

Documented Observations


May 22-24, June 11-13, 1993. Two observed at Hilliardton Marsh during field work for a Master's thesis by David Locky.


Banding Results






1999   1   1
2000   1 1 2
2001   2 1 3
2002   4 1 5
2003   1   1
2004   2 1 3