Philadelphia vireo

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Philadelphia vireo
Vireo philadelphicus.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Vireonidae
Genus: Vireo
V. philadelphicus
Binomial name
Vireo philadelphicus
(Cassin, 1851)
Vireo philadelphicus map.svg

The Philadelphia vireo (Vireo philadelphicus) is a small North American songbird in the vireo family (Vireonidae). "Vireo" is a Latin word referring to a green migratory bird, perhaps the female golden oriole, possibly the European greenfinch. The specific philadelphicus is for the city of Philadelphia.[2][3]


Adults are mainly olive-brown on the upperparts with yellow underparts; they have dark eyes and a grey crown. They have no wing bars and no eye ring. There is a dark line through the eyes and a white stripe just over them. They have thick blue-grey legs and a stout bill. The Philadelphia vireo is similar in appearance to the warbling vireo, but can be reliably distinguished by having much yellower underparts, and dark lores.

Standard Measurements[4][5]
length 4.5–5 in (110–130 mm)
weight 12 g (0.42 oz)
wingspan 8 in (200 mm)
wing 65.4–70 mm (2.57–2.76 in)
tail 45–52 mm (1.8–2.0 in)
culmen 9–11 mm (0.35–0.43 in)
tarsus 16–17 mm (0.63–0.67 in)


Their breeding habitat is the edges of deciduous and mixed woods across Canada. They make a basket-shaped cup nest in a fork of a tree branch, usually placed relatively high. The female lays 3 to 5 lightly spotted white eggs. Incubation, by both parents, lasts up to 14 days.[4]

These birds migrate to Mexico and Central America. This vireo is a very rare vagrant to western Europe. They are unlikely to visit Philadelphia, except in migration.

They forage for insects in trees, sometimes hovering or flying to catch insects in flight. They also eat berries, especially before migration.

The songs and calls of Philadelphia vireo are three to five notes, weeezh weeezh weeezh, very similar to those of the red-eyed vireo.[5]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Vireo philadelphicus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2013.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  2. ^ Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 302, 402. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  3. ^ "Vireo". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  4. ^ a b Godfrey, W. Earl (1966). The Birds of Canada. Ottawa: National Museum of Canada. pp. 318–319.
  5. ^ a b Sibley, David Allen (2000). The Sibley Guide to Birds. New York: Knopf. p. 344. ISBN 0-679-45122-6.

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