I learned this bird as the “Solitary” Vireo:
Previously it had been called the “Blue-headed” Vireo and now that name has returned:
This is generally the first of our vireos to show up in spring and the last to leave in autumn:
In summer, it is a bird of coniferous forests and may occur wherever conifers are found:
It is seldom common anywhere. During my month-of-June Breeding Bird Surveys, Red-eyed Vireos outnumber them by about 500 – 1.
In winter, they go south to the southern United States, Central America and Cuba.
The blue-headed Vireo has white “spectacles”
a white throat:
and white underparts:
The Blue-eyed is very similar to the “Plumbeous” Vireo which is being seen these days in Niagara. The main difference with the Plumbeous is that it has a complete lack of yellow pigment in plumage whereas the Blue-headed shows a little:
Often when I see a Blue-headed in migration, it seems very calm and allows a close approach as our bird did this morning.
They usually feed at the middle to upper level of trees:
Diet is insects and larvae gleaned from leaves:
Species list: double-crested cormorant, great blue heron, killdeer, Canada goose, mallard, American black duck, herring gull, mourning dove, northern flicker, hairy woodpecker, downy woodpecker, blue jay, black-capped chickadee, white-breasted nuthatch, red-breasted nuthatch, American robin, ruby-crowned kinglet, blue-headed vireo, European starling, house sparrow, northern cardinal, American goldfinch, white-throated sparrow, song sparrow. (24 species)
A touch of cold in the Autumn night—
I walked abroad,
And saw the ruddy moon lean over a hedge
Like a red-faced farmer.
I did not stop to speak, but nodded,
And round about were the wistful stars
With white faces like town children. – T.E. Hulme (1883–1917)
What a difference in the change of colour since Sept. 15th. Maybe the little vitreo is like a calm,seasoned, traveller who has an itinerary planned out!
We had some small black locust trees growing in our backyard. They have thorny branches and crowded the other shrubs.
Gorgeous scenery, terrific birds!