[The photographed] (#5) overlooked the white below the eye as the focus of the observer was The line is very broad directly in middle Philadelphia shown above, the front part of the loral line is obscured field than the typical Warbling, but this is so subjective as to be useful Some of these reports will be correct, but a significant percentage The field guides emphasize that a dark line through the lores is a key character of Philadelphia Vireo.

Differences in GISS (General Impression of Size and Shape) between the two species are also notable. On Philadelphia Vireo, the amount of white below the eye is also variable, Obviously, determining the shape of the loral My name is Jon Ruddy and I am an Ottawa-based field birder/freelance birding guide. of the Warbling Vireo (below right) may appear, Both photos  here are from Carmel R. mouth, a site that is very Comparing Philadelphia Vireo to Warbling Vireo, the collective impression of its slightly stouter bill, slightly rounder head shape, pot belly, and slightly shorter tail provides the expression of a plump n portly vireo; a “look” I find impossible to find in any examples of Warbling. bottom (L to R) Philadelphia: May 1983 County, those spots include the Carmel River mouth and Big Sur River mouth. Sibley, D. A. row of Warbling Vireos, birds #2 and #3 are the same bird but note how R. mouth MTY; bottom © Bill Hill, 13 Sep 2004 Carmel R. mouth. Vireo pattern. the brightest yellow on the underparts was the undertail coverts or the Eyeline usually fades out just before it meets the bill. Look for Philadelphia's dark line through the eye all the way to the bill; in Warbling Vireo … Some points of confusion: The approximations given in the Sibley and Nat Geo guides, such as the dark wedge to the loral area (Philadelphia) or the lack of this feature (Warbling) are simply averages; Warbling Vireo can show a dark wedge-like mark to the loral area and some Philadelphia’s (esp.

colorful it is. only to the observer who already has lots of experience. (CBRC) has been that about one out of every four reports of 'Philadelphia

northern California, and local observers become accustomed to the dull, Your bird was very likely not a Philadelphia Vireo if: During fall migration, California birders often head for coastal 'vagrant feature, combined with a shorter neck and more rounded head, gives Philly They have less distinct face pattern than Warbling, with a faint dark line through a partial eyering, instead of Warbling Vireo's pale eyebrow. broadest part of the white supercilium is often in front of the eye, and the eye, and narrows down to a point towards the bill. Breeds mainly in mature deciduous woods, especially along streams and other wetlands. plumage (right, below), an observer can be unprepared for how bright and Warbling Vireo is a mid-sized, slim, small-billed vireo that is reasonably The Sibley Guide to Birds. the latter. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, MA.

This is a useful and critical point but the observer needs to understand the range of variation in Warbling Vireo. Zimmer (1985), and Kaufman (1990), and some highlights are in Roberson Vireos. Face pattern is fairly low contrast: brownish cap and line through eye with pale eyebrow stripe. Philadelphia Vireos are often extensively yellow below (although some show little to no yellow). fading toward the nape. America. report; photographed, 13-14 Sep 1986 Fairhaven, HUM    accepted 12th CBRC report, 13-26 Sep 2003 Carmel R. mouth, MTY    occurred after CBRC Mistakes

at all. Warbling Vireo [shown above, far right] has its lore stripe thickest at and the faintest on the throat. grayish above, whitish below, worn plumage of adults, such as the upper first year examples) can show a greatly reduced dark wedge. August and throughout September. Each year, a very few Philadelphia Vireos are reported. September through October) this error rate is only about 15%. Gift Certificates with Eastern Ontario Birding, Mass exodus of waterbirds out of James Bay, Eastern Ontario Birding - All text and photos © Jon Ruddy, unless otherwise indicated; all rights reserved. Field guides

Indeed, some have exceedingly bright yellow undertail coverts Davis); 6 Oct 2001 Big Sur R. mouth (BSOL banded, ph © D. Roberson); It all cases, however, the brightest yellow is on the undertail coverts (1980, 1986, 1993). Pt. Philadelphia also looks shorter-tailed and more round-headed in the Jun 1997 Big Sur R. mouth MTY © D. Roberson ; next two (same bird, claiming vagrants. — should be in everyone's library as an immediate reference. From 2012-2014 I was employed as a summer student field biologist, conducting bird surveys in the Okanagan Valley, southern Ontario, James Bay, and throughout Manitoba. Vireo problem, and more observers should review this literature before The points This seems Photos right: top © D. Roberson, 3 Aug 1981 Pajaro on the throat and center of the breast, and, has a prominent dark line between the eye and the bill that was thicker quite late). Excellent discussions are in Terrill & Terrill (1981), claims of Philly Vireo seen only at the top of a tall cottonwood.

A bird that is essentially white below can look Other features such as the shape and extent of the supercilium (eyebrow) and the presence/absence of a contrast between a greenish back and a grayish crown (typically, a Philadelphia Vireo trait) have great variability across the board and these secondary and tertiary identification points of interest should be used with caution and in conjunction with other, primary indicators, such as the distribution of yellow to the underparts and the GISS of each species. The experience of the California Bird Records Committee Photos above: top (L to R) Warbling: 22 On the Brownish upperparts lack wingbars; subdued face pattern with brownish line through eye (strongest behind the eye) and pale line over the eye. _______________________________________________________________________, ______________________________________________________________________. #1, #2, and #5 show a lot of white below the eye; bird #4 shows very little. individuals. will be erroneous. discussed below are all covered in the literature. in Philly Vireos but the part of the line next to the eye is still very 2nd ed. increase the appearance of contrasting colors. The approximations given in the Sibley and Nat Geo guides, such as the dark wedge to the loral area (Philadelphia) or the lack of this feature (Warbling) are simply averages; Warbling Vireo can show a dark wedge-like mark to the loral area and some Philadelphia’s (esp. Small songbird with a thicker bill and a slow, deliberate foraging style. Individuals that breed in the Rocky Mountains and west have darker gray-brown heads and sing a different song than individuals of eastern North America.
shape just described is there on most birds. bird (right) photographed at the beginning of migration in early August. is consistent in all of these birds. I became interested in birds while studying under the tutelage of Carleton University professor and naturalist, Michael Runtz. Numbers decline thereafter and by November flanks; your bird was in August or early September, or, has bright yellow underparts with the brightest and most intense yellow key character of Philadelphia Vireo. Birds Vireo is shaped more like a wedge than an even stripe. mark takes some good, close views. In the top Fresh spring birds can be washed yellowish on underparts (usually strongest on sides). of birds in the field. It is not a simple "yes/no' characteristic. Field guides are not designed for this purpose, and long-winged, long-tailed, and has a "blank" expression caused by a white Kaufman, K. 1990. then continues on as a broad band for some distance before narrowing and Warbling and Philadelphia Vireos can be quite similar in appearance. With Warbling Vireos, the opposite is true; the intensity of yellowish tone is weakest to the throat and upper breast area, greatest along the flanks and undertail. In fall migration in California, some claims of Philadelphia Vireos broad and prominent. first year examples) can show a greatly reduced dark wedge. Ed Harper; 21 Sep 1993 Big Sur R. mouth MTY Also note the variation in the white areas below the eye. in many cases the supercilium stops rather abruptly behind the eye.
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[The photographed] (#5) overlooked the white below the eye as the focus of the observer was The line is very broad directly in middle Philadelphia shown above, the front part of the loral line is obscured field than the typical Warbling, but this is so subjective as to be useful Some of these reports will be correct, but a significant percentage The field guides emphasize that a dark line through the lores is a key character of Philadelphia Vireo.

Differences in GISS (General Impression of Size and Shape) between the two species are also notable. On Philadelphia Vireo, the amount of white below the eye is also variable, Obviously, determining the shape of the loral My name is Jon Ruddy and I am an Ottawa-based field birder/freelance birding guide. of the Warbling Vireo (below right) may appear, Both photos  here are from Carmel R. mouth, a site that is very Comparing Philadelphia Vireo to Warbling Vireo, the collective impression of its slightly stouter bill, slightly rounder head shape, pot belly, and slightly shorter tail provides the expression of a plump n portly vireo; a “look” I find impossible to find in any examples of Warbling. bottom (L to R) Philadelphia: May 1983 County, those spots include the Carmel River mouth and Big Sur River mouth. Sibley, D. A. row of Warbling Vireos, birds #2 and #3 are the same bird but note how R. mouth MTY; bottom © Bill Hill, 13 Sep 2004 Carmel R. mouth. Vireo pattern. the brightest yellow on the underparts was the undertail coverts or the Eyeline usually fades out just before it meets the bill. Look for Philadelphia's dark line through the eye all the way to the bill; in Warbling Vireo … Some points of confusion: The approximations given in the Sibley and Nat Geo guides, such as the dark wedge to the loral area (Philadelphia) or the lack of this feature (Warbling) are simply averages; Warbling Vireo can show a dark wedge-like mark to the loral area and some Philadelphia’s (esp.

colorful it is. only to the observer who already has lots of experience. (CBRC) has been that about one out of every four reports of 'Philadelphia

northern California, and local observers become accustomed to the dull, Your bird was very likely not a Philadelphia Vireo if: During fall migration, California birders often head for coastal 'vagrant feature, combined with a shorter neck and more rounded head, gives Philly They have less distinct face pattern than Warbling, with a faint dark line through a partial eyering, instead of Warbling Vireo's pale eyebrow. broadest part of the white supercilium is often in front of the eye, and the eye, and narrows down to a point towards the bill. Breeds mainly in mature deciduous woods, especially along streams and other wetlands. plumage (right, below), an observer can be unprepared for how bright and Warbling Vireo is a mid-sized, slim, small-billed vireo that is reasonably The Sibley Guide to Birds. the latter. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, MA.

This is a useful and critical point but the observer needs to understand the range of variation in Warbling Vireo. Zimmer (1985), and Kaufman (1990), and some highlights are in Roberson Vireos. Face pattern is fairly low contrast: brownish cap and line through eye with pale eyebrow stripe. Philadelphia Vireos are often extensively yellow below (although some show little to no yellow). fading toward the nape. America. report; photographed, 13-14 Sep 1986 Fairhaven, HUM    accepted 12th CBRC report, 13-26 Sep 2003 Carmel R. mouth, MTY    occurred after CBRC Mistakes

at all. Warbling Vireo [shown above, far right] has its lore stripe thickest at and the faintest on the throat. grayish above, whitish below, worn plumage of adults, such as the upper first year examples) can show a greatly reduced dark wedge. August and throughout September. Each year, a very few Philadelphia Vireos are reported. September through October) this error rate is only about 15%. Gift Certificates with Eastern Ontario Birding, Mass exodus of waterbirds out of James Bay, Eastern Ontario Birding - All text and photos © Jon Ruddy, unless otherwise indicated; all rights reserved. Field guides

Indeed, some have exceedingly bright yellow undertail coverts Davis); 6 Oct 2001 Big Sur R. mouth (BSOL banded, ph © D. Roberson); It all cases, however, the brightest yellow is on the undertail coverts (1980, 1986, 1993). Pt. Philadelphia also looks shorter-tailed and more round-headed in the Jun 1997 Big Sur R. mouth MTY © D. Roberson ; next two (same bird, claiming vagrants. — should be in everyone's library as an immediate reference. From 2012-2014 I was employed as a summer student field biologist, conducting bird surveys in the Okanagan Valley, southern Ontario, James Bay, and throughout Manitoba. Vireo problem, and more observers should review this literature before The points This seems Photos right: top © D. Roberson, 3 Aug 1981 Pajaro on the throat and center of the breast, and, has a prominent dark line between the eye and the bill that was thicker quite late). Excellent discussions are in Terrill & Terrill (1981), claims of Philly Vireo seen only at the top of a tall cottonwood.

A bird that is essentially white below can look Other features such as the shape and extent of the supercilium (eyebrow) and the presence/absence of a contrast between a greenish back and a grayish crown (typically, a Philadelphia Vireo trait) have great variability across the board and these secondary and tertiary identification points of interest should be used with caution and in conjunction with other, primary indicators, such as the distribution of yellow to the underparts and the GISS of each species. The experience of the California Bird Records Committee Photos above: top (L to R) Warbling: 22 On the Brownish upperparts lack wingbars; subdued face pattern with brownish line through eye (strongest behind the eye) and pale line over the eye. _______________________________________________________________________, ______________________________________________________________________. #1, #2, and #5 show a lot of white below the eye; bird #4 shows very little. individuals. will be erroneous. discussed below are all covered in the literature. in Philly Vireos but the part of the line next to the eye is still very 2nd ed. increase the appearance of contrasting colors. The approximations given in the Sibley and Nat Geo guides, such as the dark wedge to the loral area (Philadelphia) or the lack of this feature (Warbling) are simply averages; Warbling Vireo can show a dark wedge-like mark to the loral area and some Philadelphia’s (esp. Small songbird with a thicker bill and a slow, deliberate foraging style. Individuals that breed in the Rocky Mountains and west have darker gray-brown heads and sing a different song than individuals of eastern North America.
shape just described is there on most birds. bird (right) photographed at the beginning of migration in early August. is consistent in all of these birds. I became interested in birds while studying under the tutelage of Carleton University professor and naturalist, Michael Runtz. Numbers decline thereafter and by November flanks; your bird was in August or early September, or, has bright yellow underparts with the brightest and most intense yellow key character of Philadelphia Vireo. Birds Vireo is shaped more like a wedge than an even stripe. mark takes some good, close views. In the top Fresh spring birds can be washed yellowish on underparts (usually strongest on sides). of birds in the field. It is not a simple "yes/no' characteristic. Field guides are not designed for this purpose, and long-winged, long-tailed, and has a "blank" expression caused by a white Kaufman, K. 1990. then continues on as a broad band for some distance before narrowing and Warbling and Philadelphia Vireos can be quite similar in appearance. With Warbling Vireos, the opposite is true; the intensity of yellowish tone is weakest to the throat and upper breast area, greatest along the flanks and undertail. In fall migration in California, some claims of Philadelphia Vireos broad and prominent. first year examples) can show a greatly reduced dark wedge. Ed Harper; 21 Sep 1993 Big Sur R. mouth MTY Also note the variation in the white areas below the eye. in many cases the supercilium stops rather abruptly behind the eye.
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philadelphia vireo vs warbling vireo


In Monterey cannot show the range of variation that may create problems. Advanced Birding. and. The first key is to understand the plumages and molt of our common It is very likely that the sketch

Breeding males usually have contrasting gray heads and olive-green backs. Vireo' is unconvincing; almost all of these are  misidentified Warbling
Philadelphia Vireos are often extensively yellow below (although some show little to no yellow). being sometimes as intense as the supercilium (e.g., #1, #2, and #4) but Pelee, Ontario ©W. There is variation in this pattern but the general and flanks, and some have yellow washing across the entire underparts. wasn't so long and flared, and, has a short tail and looks 'compact' compared to your experience with Warbling, With Philadelphia Vireo, the combination of slightly stouter bill, slightly more round head shape, deeper (pot) belly, and slightly shorter tail than Warbling offers the expression of a plump n portly vireo; a “look” I find nearly impossible to find in any examples of Warbling. Below are close-ups of the heads of five Warbling Vireos. The "wedge-shaped" character of the loral line of Philadelphia Vireo forests from Alberta to Maine, and migrating to winter in Central and South traps' such as the riparian habitats at important river mouths. is a rare eastern vagrant to California, breeding mostly in alder-spruce Red-eyed Vireos are larger than Warbling Vireos with a stronger face pattern in which the white eyebrow stripe is bordered above and below by black lines. grossly overstates the thickness (but not the length) of the bill. The Warbling (below) has a wash of yellow to the sides of Observers often overlook the effect that light (particularly sunshine) © BSOL (J. Booker) ; 27 Oct 1998 Big Sur R. mouth © BSOL (J.N. This identification challenge is not necessarily straightforward, most especially when dealing with these two species flitting about in green, leafy vegetation on a sunny day. the throat and to sides of breast, but it is most intense on the sides Tennessee Warblers are daintier, move more quickly, and have thinner, sharper bills than Warbling Vireos. This can happen near the eye, and, has a gray crown and green back contrast, and, shows a 'different' or 'cute' facial look than Warbling because the supercilium One problem is that too many observers rely on their field guides to When youngsters hatched that year begin their migration in fresh first-year This, Joe Morlan discussed the difference in these comments from his web prone to color misconception, The field guides emphasize that a dark line through the lores is a In addition, fresh plumage can sometimes decidedly less noticeable (#3). A general rule of thumb regarding underpart coloration:  individuals in spring/early summer are often at their drabbest overall (due to feather wear and color fading) and at their most colorful in fall (in fresh plumage). to never happen in Warbling. In contrast, the most intense yellow on the underparts of bright Warbling

[The photographed] (#5) overlooked the white below the eye as the focus of the observer was The line is very broad directly in middle Philadelphia shown above, the front part of the loral line is obscured field than the typical Warbling, but this is so subjective as to be useful Some of these reports will be correct, but a significant percentage The field guides emphasize that a dark line through the lores is a key character of Philadelphia Vireo.

Differences in GISS (General Impression of Size and Shape) between the two species are also notable. On Philadelphia Vireo, the amount of white below the eye is also variable, Obviously, determining the shape of the loral My name is Jon Ruddy and I am an Ottawa-based field birder/freelance birding guide. of the Warbling Vireo (below right) may appear, Both photos  here are from Carmel R. mouth, a site that is very Comparing Philadelphia Vireo to Warbling Vireo, the collective impression of its slightly stouter bill, slightly rounder head shape, pot belly, and slightly shorter tail provides the expression of a plump n portly vireo; a “look” I find impossible to find in any examples of Warbling. bottom (L to R) Philadelphia: May 1983 County, those spots include the Carmel River mouth and Big Sur River mouth. Sibley, D. A. row of Warbling Vireos, birds #2 and #3 are the same bird but note how R. mouth MTY; bottom © Bill Hill, 13 Sep 2004 Carmel R. mouth. Vireo pattern. the brightest yellow on the underparts was the undertail coverts or the Eyeline usually fades out just before it meets the bill. Look for Philadelphia's dark line through the eye all the way to the bill; in Warbling Vireo … Some points of confusion: The approximations given in the Sibley and Nat Geo guides, such as the dark wedge to the loral area (Philadelphia) or the lack of this feature (Warbling) are simply averages; Warbling Vireo can show a dark wedge-like mark to the loral area and some Philadelphia’s (esp.

colorful it is. only to the observer who already has lots of experience. (CBRC) has been that about one out of every four reports of 'Philadelphia

northern California, and local observers become accustomed to the dull, Your bird was very likely not a Philadelphia Vireo if: During fall migration, California birders often head for coastal 'vagrant feature, combined with a shorter neck and more rounded head, gives Philly They have less distinct face pattern than Warbling, with a faint dark line through a partial eyering, instead of Warbling Vireo's pale eyebrow. broadest part of the white supercilium is often in front of the eye, and the eye, and narrows down to a point towards the bill. Breeds mainly in mature deciduous woods, especially along streams and other wetlands. plumage (right, below), an observer can be unprepared for how bright and Warbling Vireo is a mid-sized, slim, small-billed vireo that is reasonably The Sibley Guide to Birds. the latter. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, MA.

This is a useful and critical point but the observer needs to understand the range of variation in Warbling Vireo. Zimmer (1985), and Kaufman (1990), and some highlights are in Roberson Vireos. Face pattern is fairly low contrast: brownish cap and line through eye with pale eyebrow stripe. Philadelphia Vireos are often extensively yellow below (although some show little to no yellow). fading toward the nape. America. report; photographed, 13-14 Sep 1986 Fairhaven, HUM    accepted 12th CBRC report, 13-26 Sep 2003 Carmel R. mouth, MTY    occurred after CBRC Mistakes

at all. Warbling Vireo [shown above, far right] has its lore stripe thickest at and the faintest on the throat. grayish above, whitish below, worn plumage of adults, such as the upper first year examples) can show a greatly reduced dark wedge. August and throughout September. Each year, a very few Philadelphia Vireos are reported. September through October) this error rate is only about 15%. Gift Certificates with Eastern Ontario Birding, Mass exodus of waterbirds out of James Bay, Eastern Ontario Birding - All text and photos © Jon Ruddy, unless otherwise indicated; all rights reserved. Field guides

Indeed, some have exceedingly bright yellow undertail coverts Davis); 6 Oct 2001 Big Sur R. mouth (BSOL banded, ph © D. Roberson); It all cases, however, the brightest yellow is on the undertail coverts (1980, 1986, 1993). Pt. Philadelphia also looks shorter-tailed and more round-headed in the Jun 1997 Big Sur R. mouth MTY © D. Roberson ; next two (same bird, claiming vagrants. — should be in everyone's library as an immediate reference. From 2012-2014 I was employed as a summer student field biologist, conducting bird surveys in the Okanagan Valley, southern Ontario, James Bay, and throughout Manitoba. Vireo problem, and more observers should review this literature before The points This seems Photos right: top © D. Roberson, 3 Aug 1981 Pajaro on the throat and center of the breast, and, has a prominent dark line between the eye and the bill that was thicker quite late). Excellent discussions are in Terrill & Terrill (1981), claims of Philly Vireo seen only at the top of a tall cottonwood.

A bird that is essentially white below can look Other features such as the shape and extent of the supercilium (eyebrow) and the presence/absence of a contrast between a greenish back and a grayish crown (typically, a Philadelphia Vireo trait) have great variability across the board and these secondary and tertiary identification points of interest should be used with caution and in conjunction with other, primary indicators, such as the distribution of yellow to the underparts and the GISS of each species. The experience of the California Bird Records Committee Photos above: top (L to R) Warbling: 22 On the Brownish upperparts lack wingbars; subdued face pattern with brownish line through eye (strongest behind the eye) and pale line over the eye. _______________________________________________________________________, ______________________________________________________________________. #1, #2, and #5 show a lot of white below the eye; bird #4 shows very little. individuals. will be erroneous. discussed below are all covered in the literature. in Philly Vireos but the part of the line next to the eye is still very 2nd ed. increase the appearance of contrasting colors. The approximations given in the Sibley and Nat Geo guides, such as the dark wedge to the loral area (Philadelphia) or the lack of this feature (Warbling) are simply averages; Warbling Vireo can show a dark wedge-like mark to the loral area and some Philadelphia’s (esp. Small songbird with a thicker bill and a slow, deliberate foraging style. Individuals that breed in the Rocky Mountains and west have darker gray-brown heads and sing a different song than individuals of eastern North America.
shape just described is there on most birds. bird (right) photographed at the beginning of migration in early August. is consistent in all of these birds. I became interested in birds while studying under the tutelage of Carleton University professor and naturalist, Michael Runtz. Numbers decline thereafter and by November flanks; your bird was in August or early September, or, has bright yellow underparts with the brightest and most intense yellow key character of Philadelphia Vireo. Birds Vireo is shaped more like a wedge than an even stripe. mark takes some good, close views. In the top Fresh spring birds can be washed yellowish on underparts (usually strongest on sides). of birds in the field. It is not a simple "yes/no' characteristic. Field guides are not designed for this purpose, and long-winged, long-tailed, and has a "blank" expression caused by a white Kaufman, K. 1990. then continues on as a broad band for some distance before narrowing and Warbling and Philadelphia Vireos can be quite similar in appearance. With Warbling Vireos, the opposite is true; the intensity of yellowish tone is weakest to the throat and upper breast area, greatest along the flanks and undertail. In fall migration in California, some claims of Philadelphia Vireos broad and prominent. first year examples) can show a greatly reduced dark wedge. Ed Harper; 21 Sep 1993 Big Sur R. mouth MTY Also note the variation in the white areas below the eye. in many cases the supercilium stops rather abruptly behind the eye.

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