Veery

The Veery is associated with young, damp forests, particularly those near streams or swamps. At dusk, this bird sings an ethereal song rendered “de-vee-ur,
vee-ur, veer, veer”. The Veery’s call is a highly variable “veer”. Females construct
their cupped nests on the ground or low in small trees such as red maple or alder.
While females alone incubate eggs and brood their young, both parents are involved in feeding their young. Veery gather a wide variety of insect prey including
caterpillars, grubs, and flies and eventually dragonflies and butterflies. When the nest is threatened, adults will often emit a high distress call (“seer”) and will attack threats to the nest if they persist. The brood is split up with both parents assuming sole responsibility for some of the young birds. About 3 weeks after leaving the nest, young become independent.

Safe Dates: June 1st to August 1st (applicable for only the S or H codes).


Breeding Evidence: If you hear a Veery singing their ethereal songs within the safe dates, use code S. The simplest way to upgrade this to a “Probable Breeder” is to listen for singing again at the same location 7 or more days later to upgrade the code to S7. For silently perched or calling (“veer”) Veery, use code H. If you observe agitated behavior such as adults giving the “seer” distress call, use code A. If a pair are observed together and are interacting, use code P. If 7 or more singing birds are observed within your block, use code M. Look for females collecting wet leaves for nest building (code NB). For birds observed carrying food (variety of insects including butterflies and dragonflies), use code CF. Veery remain in the care of their parents for 3 weeks after leaving the nest and may be observed foraging together. If recently edged young are observed and are not capable of strong flight, use code FL.

Image courtesy of Logan Parker. 

Audio courtesy of Ross Gallardy.

© 2019 Logan Parker

The Maine Nightjar Monitoring Project is a part of the Maine Natural History Observatory