Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Bell’s Vireo

Bell’s Vireos are found in the central Great Plains and the southwestern United States. Although rare and local in southeastern Minnesota (Eckert), these vireos are common in South Dakota along and west of the Missouri River. Throughout their range, Bell’s Vireos are indicative of healthy, brushy, riparian habitats with dense undergrowth. Unfortunately precisely this sort of habitat is often cleared in “beautification” areas in state parks and other areas. Bell’s Vireos are also heavily parasitized by cowbirds. California declared this vireo to be Endangered in 1986.

The Bell’s Vireo was discovered by Audubon, who named it after John Bell, a friend and companion on Audubon’s 1843 expedition to the Missouri River (Kus et al. 2010). This photograph was taken near Fort Pierre, South Dakota (along the Missouri River) after it was attracted by a tape of its call.

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