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Saturday, June 04, 2022

Red-eyed Vireos Never Stop Singing, (well almost).

I opened the door this morning and heard a familiar sound, a Red-eyed Vireo singing in the woods behind my deck. This is one of the most common sounds you hear all summer long in woods and as you hike. There's reason –
Red-eyed Vireos are abundant in about the eastern two-thirds of the country and much of Canada. Unlike many male birds who stop singing after they pair up, the male Red-eyed Vireo sings almost constantly, even after getting a mate.
From Stokes Guide to Bird Behavior, Vol. 1,
"At some point, he will stop singing and you will notice an immediate change in the female's behavior. She begins to look in all directions, move about on the nest, and may even give one of her calls. In a minute or two, she flies off to meet the male and is either fed by him or feeds on her own. After about five minutes the male will be singing from the treetops again and, possibly without your even noticing, the female will have come back to the nest and resumed incubating. From this will be clear to you that the male's song is being closely listened to by the female and is a continual aural contact that helps the pair coordinate this phase of their lives." This is an intimate look into the secret life of Red-eyed Vireos. We wrote our behavior guides to create holistic birding, in which you go beyond mere identification and get a deeper appreciation and respect for the amazing lives of birds. (Always observe nests from a safe distance so as not to disturb birds.) Listen to the song of a Red-eyed Vireo here, I guarantee you will hear it if you are in their range.


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