The Veery is a temporary
summer resident of forests of the northern U.S. and southern Canada, migrating
northward relatively late in spring and leaving in late summer. They are
most commonly seen hopping along the forest floor as they search for insects and
other prey items. It's beautiful song is a common summer sound in much of
the northern U.S., especially near sunset.
the summer breeding season, they are found in thickets and dense forest
understories, often near water. They usually avoid areas without a
significant understory. They are found in similar environments during
migration and in winter in the tropics.
Diet: The summer
diet is mostly insects and spiders, as well as centipedes, snails, and small
amphibians. During the winter months, they also consume great amounts of
fruits and berries.
low in the vegetation or along the ground. They will sometimes poke at
decaying logs and flip over leaves at stones in search of insects. They
also can hover while picking insects from foliage, and will occasionally fly out
from a perch to snag a flying insect in mid-air.
Nesting: June and July
Migration: Summers throughout
much of the northern United States and southern Canada, as well as at higher
elevations in the central Rockies and the Appalachians. Winters in the
South Dakota "Hotspot": Veeries are common summer
breeders in Spearfish Canyon in the Black Hills. They were extremely
common and easy to find around Roughlock Falls in the Canyon in July 2008,
with very active singing and movement early in the morning and late in the
Conservation Status: There are indications that populations may
be in decline in recent decades. Increased access to nests for Brown-headed
Cowbirds has increased parasitism, due to forest fragmentation and more edge
habitat favorable for Cowbirds.
Cornell University's "All About Birds - Veery"
Photo Information: July 8th, 2008 - Near Roughlock
Falls in Spearfish Canyon - Terry Sohl
Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or
text links below for additional, higher-resolution Veery photos.