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Bell's and Warbling Vireos do like different habitats, but it could be dangerous to ID them on habitat alone because there are habitat overlaps, or at least there are areas where the different types of foliages preferred by each grow fairly close together. An example is the handicap blind at Schell Osage, where I found both species in 2002 and again this year. Both species can also be found along the road by Mallard Marsh at Squaw Creek, although, as at Weston Bend S.P., Bell's is thinning out there as the foliage gets larger.

Bell's seems most often to be found in relatively short bushes, 10' to 15' high -- especially plum bushes -- in more or less open country where Warbling Vireo would not be present in the breeding season. However, I have found them in larger foliage, closer to taller trees. Although Warbling Vireos like tall cottonwoods, their habitat certainly is not limited to cottonwoods. I have found them in smaller vegetation, especially in edge situations.

Luckily, both species sing almost constantly at this time of year.

Bob Fisher
Independence, Missouri

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