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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Solitary Vireo -- Vireo solitarius


RANGE: Breeds from central British Columbia east through central Canada to northern Ontario and Newfoundland, southwest of and through the Rockies to southern California and west Texas, south through Mexico to Honduras, and east of the Rockies to North Dakota, Illinois, and Massachusetts; in the Appalachian and Piedmont regions to eastern Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland. Winters from southern California, central Texas, the northern portions of the Gulf States and North Carolina south to Costa Rica.

STATUS: Common.

HABITAT: Usually inhabits coniferous or coniferous-deciduous forests, especially spruce and tamarack swamps in parts of its range. Seems to prefer open mixed forests with considerable undergrowth.

NEST: Builds a deep cup nest that is suspended from the fork of a horizontal branch, generally 3 to 20 feet above the ground, often about midway in a small conifer, but occasionally in a small deciduous tree or shrub.

FOOD: Gleans most food from twigs and foliage but occasionally hawks for flying insects. Mostly eats insects, plus a few spiders and small fruits.

REFERENCES: DeGraff et al. 1980, Forbush and May 1955, Harrison 1975, Johnsgard 1979, Petersen in Farrand 1983c, Terres 1980.


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