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Warbling Vireo Vireo gilvus


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Warbling Vireo
credit: John Harrison /CCSA

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Vireonidae, Vireos view all from this family

Description ADULT Has olive-green upperparts, marginally darkest on forecrown. Has whitish supercilium and lores. Wings lack obvious pale feather fringes or wing bars. Underparts, including face and throat, are pale overall with drab yellow wash on flanks and undertail. JUVENILE Similar to adult, but with obvious yellow flush to flanks and undertail.

Dimensions Length: 5-6" (13-15 cm)

Habitat Common summer visitor (mainly Apr-Sep) to riverside deciduous woodland. Winters in Central America.

Observation Tips Learn and listen for the distinctive song to detect the species' presence.

Range Plains, Alaska, Southeast, Texas, Great Lakes, Southwest, California, New England, Rocky Mountains, Western Canada, Florida, Mid-Atlantic, Eastern Canada, Northwest

Voice Song comprises bursts of warbling phrases, with pauses between as if bird is catching its breath; call is a nasal tchrrr.

Discussion Unobtrusive warblerlike vireo with a distinctive song. Observation is often challenging: feeds quietly, searching for insects among foliage, often near tops of trees. Note the relatively large head and stout bill. Western subspecies are subtly smaller, greener, and have shorter bills than widespread eastern ssp. gilvus and may be separate species; ssp. gilvus is described here. Sexes are similar.