Bell's Vireo
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General description.

"Bell's Vireo", similar to, but smaller than the White-eyed Vireo often 'hangs out' with them, foraging in desert and bottomland thickets of the West. The Bell's has a white eye ring vs. the yellow of the White-eyed. This bird was named, by Audubon, for John G. Bell, a taxidermist who accompanied him on his trip up the Missouri River in the 1840's. No other vireo eats so many bulky insects; one witnessed to have carried large black flies, holding them down with a foot while nibbling away.

Breeding habits.

The "Bell's Vireo's" breeding area ranges from southern California across to Colorado, the Dakotas and southward from Indiana, never further east than that.

Calls or song.

"Bell's Vireo" warbles an upward and downward "cheedle cheedle chew" all day, all season long.

Population and distribution.

These birds winter in Mexico and Nicaragua.

Nesting habits.

Bell's nest in trees and bushes within a few feet from the ground. They build a purse shaped cradle of leaves, bark strips and down, tied together with spider webbing, to house 3-5 white eggs marked with brown. Often victimized by cowbirds, who lay their eggs in the vireo's nest, this bird rarely raises the parasite's young, but rather abandons the nest altogether.

Similar birds:

White-eyed Vireo Photo White-eyed Vireo
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