Bell's Vireo

Description: The Bell's vireo is a small, nondescript bird with a thin, pale, broken eye-ring and loral stripe. It has two faint wing bars, the lower one a little more pronounced than the top one. It has a greenish back and yellow on the flanks, and often pumps its tail much like a palm warbler.

Habits and Habitats: The Bell's vireo is a very active bird, but very difficult to see most of the time. It usually stays concealed in dense cover. At the Bluegrass FWA it is often found associated with autumn olive and willows near water. At VCP it is associated with the tree-planted areas, which are dominated by sycamore and sweetgum. These trees, in addition to thick herb growth provides the cover the bird seems to prefer.

Voice: Although the bird is seldom seen, it is often heard, singing a very distinctive song most of the day and throughout the breeding season and beyond. It has a husky, chatty song given in phrases of short intervals: cheedle cheedle chee? cheedle cheedle chew!

Status: This is a common bird at the Bluegrass FWA during the summer. It arrives late April or early May and uses the area for breeding. It leaves the area in early to late September. At VCP, the Bell's vireo was not seen in 2010; was observed on a few occassions in 2011; and in 2012 several nesting pairs were located.

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