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Warbling Vireo Warbles on Nest

6-4-14 warbling vireo on nest 226 As a rule, male birds do not sing near their nest. When they approach their nest, whether to take their turn incubating eggs, brooding nestlings or delivering food, they are apt to be silent, or sing much more softly than usual, so as to avoid bringing attention to the nest. There are exceptions to this rule, however – male Chipping Sparrows, House Wrens, Common Yellowthroats, Hermit Thrushes, Black-billed Cuckoos, Scarlet Tanagers, Orchard Orioles and American Goldfinches have been heard singing not just near their nest, but while sitting on it! Warbling Vireos are by far the most persistent nest singers. When the male Warbling Vireo is incubating, he sings at all times of the day, as many as 20 bursts of song during one spell on the nest. Listening for the Warbling Vireo’s song and locating the songster can often lead you to its nest. One wonders what function the song has that makes it worth drawing this kind of attention to the nest.

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4 responses

  1. ELIZABETH

    Maybe the song just staves off boredom while sitting endless hours on the nest.

    June 4, 2014 at 2:42 pm

  2. Dudley Carlson

    That is a photo worthy of Audubon – beautifully composed, lit and colored. Nice accompaniment to a great bit of information I didn’t know. Thank you!

    June 4, 2014 at 8:09 pm

  3. I’m loving all the birdsong of late. Here it is 8:20 pm and they are still going at it! Wish it didn’t have to end – the breeding season is too short!

    June 5, 2014 at 12:23 am

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