It's a wonder this bird doesn't have a complex. The Philadelphia Vireo is one of over a dozen similar looking birds in the vireo family, and everything I have ever read about this particular vireo describes it by comparing it to other vireos. It's a bit more yellow than the Warbling Vireo. It doesn't have the vivid white eye ring of the Blue-headed Vireo. Its song is like the Red-eyed Vireo, but weaker and choppier. And it's named after a city that it only visits once in a while by accident. Give a bird a break!


So the Philadelphia Vireo is the first vireo I want to present. In my opinion, it's a very beautiful bird that holds a place of its own. Comfortable in its own skin, it carries its head with a simple pride, as if to say, "I don't care whom you compare me to." Unfortunately, it tends to prefer to spend its time in the treetops, so without the help of binoculars, it's difficult to appreciate this bird’s understated beauty. Its underside--which is usually what you're limited to seeing--is a soft yellow that magically changes hue as it takes on the color of the leaves around it.


The Philadelphia Vireo is at its prettiest in spring, when the new leaves are a greenish yellow and the light is soft.

Enjoy the photos of this beautiful bird. There's no comparison!

Dan's Feathursday Feature is a weekly contribution to the COS blog featuring the thoughts, insights and pictures of Chicago birder, Dan Lory on birds of the Chicago region.