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Philadelphia Vireo

Vireo philadelphicus

Length: 5 inches Wingspan: 8.5 inches Seasonality: Migrant
ID Keys: White on face with dark eye-line, yellowish underparts (brightest on upper-breast), greenish-gray upperparts.

Philadelphia Vireo - Vireo philadelphicusThe Philadelphia Vireo was first discovered in Philadelphia in the 1940s, but is only a migrant through that area.  The vast majority summer in southern Canada and are only migrants through the eastern half of the United States.  They are most often found high in the treetops and rarely sing during migration, so are perhaps widely overlooked in spring in the U.S.   

Habitat: Uses deciduous or mixed woodlands during the summer breeding season, especially near woodland edges or in young second-growth forest.  Uses open woodlands in the tropics during the winter.

Diet: Primarily feeds on insects in all seasons.  Will also eat spiders, snails, fruits, and berries.

Behavior: Philadelphia Vireos are often found high in the forest canopy, but they will also forage lower in the canopy or in shrubby undergrowth.  They will sometimes flycatch, observing from a perch on a branch and flying out to catch passing insects. 

Breeding: Non-breeder in South Dakota

Song: Short whistled phrases with deliberate pauses in between.

Migration: Primarily summers in southern Canada, locally in New England and the upper Great Lakes area.  Winters in the tropics.

Interactive eBird Map: Click here to access an interactive eBird map of Philadelphia Vireo sightings

Similar Species: Warbling Vireo, Tennessee Warbler

Conservation Status: Numbers appear to be stable. 

Further Information: 1) USGS Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter, Philadelphia Vireo

2) Audubon Guide - Philadelphia Vireo

3) WhatBird - Philadelphia Vireo

Photo Information: Photo courtesy of Dave Inman

Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or text links below for additional, higher-resolution Philadelphia Vireo photos.


Click on the map below for a higher-resolution view
Philadelphia Vireo - Range Map
South Dakota Status: Rare migrants in the eastern part of the state, accidental in the western part.

Additional Philadelphia Warbler Photos 
Philadelphia Vireo - Vireo philadelphicus