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Yellow-throated Vireo

Posted on May 14, 2015

The Yellow-throated Vireo (Vireo flavifrons) is one of those species I never seem to spot frequently, and thus I end up knowing little about them. They are birds of the deciduous forest of eastern North America, preferring the edge. This may be along a roadway or a trail, the latter allowing for some good views in my experience, but they also enjoy staying at mid to high levels. A bird in the canopy is much more difficult to learn about than one that hangs out down here with us.

Yellow-throated Vireo Stratford May 9 2015-0505-2

Yellow-throated Vireo Stratford May 9 2015-0507-2

Yellow-throated Vireo Stratford May 9 2015-0510-2

I spotted this Yellow-throated Vireo several days ago at a migratory stopover site for many passerine species. It was keeping to itself on a dark, cloudy day, and birds like that American Goldfinch were only nearby as a coincidence. It gave me some of the best looks one can hope for of the species, mostly due to the fact these leaves had not popped yet. It darted here, there and everywhere for insects, often having this bungee-jumping look of falling off a branch or a perch while gleaning for prey.

Yellow-throated Vireo Stratford May 9 2015-0512-2

Yellow-throated Vireo Stratford May 9 2015-0514-2

Yellow-throated Vireos nest in the same way that most other vireos do, using a fork in a branch – think of a Y shape – to build a cup nest that is suspended in the middle of it. They move around at a considered pace, seeming to do a lot of contemplating their next move.

Yellow-throated Vireo Stratford May 9 2015-0515-2

Yellow-throated Vireo Stratford May 9 2015-0516

Their song is also like other vireos, with rough, burry, short phrases of a couple syllables, often sounding like “three A”. I wish this bird a safe journey and the best of luck on finding a mate then successfully raising a family.

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation & Outreach Coordinator