Birds singing at their wintering grounds

I’ve thought about this way before but until now I remembered about iNat forum and that my question could be answered here. My area is a very important wintering ground for a plethora of North American birds, and wintering vireos are very common visitors here, particularly the White-eyed (Vireo griseus). So, if you know this bird you’ll recall its unmistakeable song. Here in the winter they also sing unstoppably, which is kind of surprising to me since birds are supposed to sing at their breeding grounds. I’ve also seen warblers singing early in the morning here, so why are these birds singing out of their breeding grounds and season?


Several species of songbirds practice their songs all winter long. Some birds also sing to defend winter territories (e.g., Brown Thrashers defend winter territories around food resources).

White-eyed Vireos sing all winter long in north Georgia too (we are well within their breeding range and on the expanding edge of their wintering range). In contrast, the Blue-headed Vireos that winter here don’t start practicing until March. I’ve been seeing them all winter, but they are just now starting to sing before they leave for their breeding grounds.


It’s normal for birds to sing in winter, e.g. Acrocephalus are singing all the time when they’re on wintering grounds.


So now I’m very clear birds sing in their wintering grounds, but why?

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