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Published on May 17, 2010
A male perched and singing. "Least" Bells Vireo (Vireo bellii pusillus) was formerly abundant in the riparian woodlands of California's Central Valley and low elevation riparian streams in southern California and northern Baja, Mexico. It was one of California's most abundant birds in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but was reduced to just 300 pairs by 1986. The decline was driven by the separate and combined effects of habitat loss and brood parasitism by the exotic brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater). It was listed as an endangered species by the state of California in 1980 and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1986. Similar declines occurred in Baja, Mexico, but are not as well documented. http://birdsdesjardin.com