Though the gray, six-inch birds may have plain-Jane looks, warbling vireos can be the musical divas of streamside forests and woodlands.
They often sing their wonderful melodies during daylight hours. Even birds sitting on their nest, usually a woven cup hanging near the end of branch, are prone to song.
Because of their shyness, they spend most of their time hidden by leaves in the uppermost reaches of trees, making their sounds seem even sweeter.
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Warbling vireos are summer residents of Kansas, mostly nesting in the eastern half of the state in riparian areas. They’re sometimes found further west, where the needed mature forest habitat can be found.
While even avid birders often struggle to sight warbling vireos, cowbirds find their nests with unsettling regularity.
Cowbirds lay their eggs in the nests of vireos. Once hatched, the young cowbirds easily bully the tiny vireos from the nest, and get all of the food their adopted parents bring.