Blue-headed Vireo at Lambton Woods: October 8, 2020

I learned this bird as the “Solitary” Vireo:

Blue-headed Vireo

Previously it had been called the “Blue-headed” Vireo and now that name has returned:

Blue-headed Vireo

This is generally the first of our vireos to show up in spring and the last to leave in autumn:

Blue-headed Vireo

In summer, it is a bird of coniferous forests and may occur wherever conifers are found:

Blue-headed Vireo

It is seldom common anywhere. During my month-of-June Breeding Bird Surveys, Red-eyed Vireos outnumber them by about 500 – 1.

Blue-headed Vireo

In winter, they go south to the southern United States, Central America and Cuba.

Blue-headed Vireo

The blue-headed Vireo has white “spectacles”

Blue-headed Vireo

a white throat:

Blue-headed Vireo

and white underparts:

Blue-headed Vireo

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:

Blue-headed Vireo

Often when I see a Blue-headed in migration, it seems very calm and allows a close approach as our bird did this morning.

Blue-headed Vireo

They usually feed at the middle to upper level of trees:

Blue-headed Vireo

Diet is insects and larvae gleaned from leaves:

Blue-headed Vireo

Other birds:

Double-crested Cormorant (juvenile)
Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron
Mourning Doves
White-breasted Nuthatch
Song Sparrow
Mallard (female) and American Black Duck (male)
American Robin in Mountain Ash
Black-capped Chickadee
Blue Jay

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)

Park views:

Today’s group:

Some botany:

Sugar Maple
Turtlehead (Chelone glabra)
Calico Aster (Symphyotrichum lateriflorum)
Bittersweet Nightshade (Solanum dulcamara)
Red Oak (Quercus rubra)
Panicled Aster (Symphyotrichum lanceolatum)
Three Square Sedge
Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)
Hackberry leaf gall
Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)


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) 

Miles Hearn

2 thoughts on “Blue-headed Vireo at Lambton Woods: October 8, 2020

  1. Gloria James

    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.
    Happy Thanksgiving.


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