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blue-headed vireo

blue-headed vireo (Vireo solitarius)
Photo © Alan Murphy Photography

Features and Behaviors

The blue-headed vireo is about five and one-fourth inches long (tail tip to bill tip in preserved specimen). The white feathers at the top of the bill continue as a ring around each eye. Blue-gray feathers are present on the top of the head. The throat feathers are white. There are green feathers on the back, and the sides of the belly have light-yellow feathers.

Spring migrants begin arriving in Illinois in mid-April. Fall migrants begin returning to the state in late August. This species overwinters from the Gulf Coast to Central America. Blue-headed vireos have been seen in northern Illinois in summer but very rarely. It nests as close to Illinois as northern Wisconsin but mainly in Canada and the northeastern United States. This species eats insects and fruits.

Illinois Range


​Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Vireonidae

Illinois Status: common, native