Birds of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance
Philadelphia Vireo - Vireo philadelphicus
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General Comments This is the only Eastern vireo that does not nest in North Carolina. Instead, the Philadelphia Vireo breeds in deciduous or mixed forests across southern Canada, and sparingly into our northern states. Unlike with the Warbling Vireo, this species does migrate regularly through the state, though mainly in the mountains and Piedmont, and mainly in the fall season. Even in the mountains and Piedmont it is a good find, though it can be easily overlooked as a Tennessee Warbler or a Red-eyed or Warbling vireo. As with most migrant songbirds, it favors hardwood forests in spring and fall migration. Records have increased in recent years, though this may simply represent more thorough birder coverage.
Breeding Status Nonbreeder
NC BRC List Definitive
State Status
U.S. Status
State Rank SZ
Global Rank G5
Coastal Plain Transient, essentially only in fall; very sparse in spring. In fall, rare along the coast, and very rare farther inland. In spring, casual to very rare across the region (about 10 reports). Mainly late Apr to mid-May, and early Sep to early Oct. Peak counts: 4, Bodie Island, 23 Sep 2022.
Piedmont Transient. Rare to uncommon (and easily overlooked) across the province in fall, and very rare in spring (mainly in the western half). Primarily late Apr to early May, and mid-Sep to mid-Oct. Peak counts:
Mountains Transient; more numerous in this province in both spring and fall than downstate. Uncommon in fall, and very rare in spring. Mainly late Apr to mid-May, and mid-Sep to mid-Oct. Peak counts: 12, Jackson Park in Hendersonville, 22 Sep 1999; 6 at that site on 30 Sep 2008; 4, along the Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville, 29 Sep 2004; 4, Beaver Lake (Buncombe), 1 Oct 2014.
Finding Tips Jackson Park in Hendersonville in the latter part of September provides a decent chance to see the species, and better if you run into other birders to help scour the park.
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Attribution LeGrand[2023-03-20], LeGrand[2018-02-01], LeGrand[2017-08-25]
NC Map
Map depicts all counties with a report (transient or resident) for the species.
Click on county for list of all known species.