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Philadelphia Vireo

ID Info
Silhouette VireosVireos
Philadelphia VireoVireo philadelphicus
  • ORDER: Passeriformes
  • FAMILY: Vireonidae

Basic Description

The slight, almost dainty Philadelphia Vireo is fairly common in dense young woodlands of Canada’s boreal summertime. Smaller, shorter-billed, and less aggressive than a Red-eyed Vireo, this olive-brown bird moves methodically through upper reaches of young trees searching for caterpillars. Although similar to the widespread Warbling Vireo, it’s usually yellower below with a bolder head pattern. The song is a rising-and-falling series of short whistles, quite different from Warbling but very similar to Red-eyed, making this species both a challenge and a prize to find during migration.

More ID Info
image of range map for Philadelphia Vireo
Range map provided by Birds of the World
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Find This Bird

For many birdwatchers Philadelphia Vireos are a treat to be found during migration. In spring, they are later migrants, appearing high in canopies largely in May. At migration hotspots such as Crane Creek, Ohio; Point Pelee, Ontario; or along the western Gulf Coast, recently arrived birds often feed lower in vegetation. Listen closely and search out any “funny-sounding” (slow-singing) vireo. In autumn, Philadelphias join mixed flocks and eat fruit at forest edges and second growth (just watch out for dull Red-eyed and bright Warbling Vireos).

Other Names

  • Vireo de Filadelfia (Spanish)
  • Viréo de Philadelphie (French)
  • Cool Facts