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A photo of a White-eyed Vireo (Vireo griseus)
White-eyed Vireo

White-eyed Vireo

Vireo griseus

The White-eyed Vireo (Vireo griseus) is a diminutive songbird, a member of the Vireonidae family. It is characterized by a greyish olive head and back, with underparts that are white and flanks that are a touch of yellow. The wings and tail are dark, and each wing is adorned with two white bars. A distinctive feature is the white irises of its eyes, set within yellow spectacles. Both sexes share a similar appearance.

Identification Tips

When attempting to identify the White-eyed Vireo, look for the following key features: a length of 4.3-5.1 inches, a weight of 0.3-0.5 ounces, and a wingspan of approximately 6.7 inches. The combination of white irises, yellow spectacles, and the two white wing bars on each wing are telltale signs of this species.

Habitat

This vireo is often found in shrubs and bushes within abandoned fields or overgrown pastures, preferring areas with dense vegetation.

Distribution

The White-eyed Vireo breeds across the eastern United States, stretching from New England to northern Missouri, and down to Texas and Florida. Its range extends into eastern Mexico, northern Central America, Cuba, and the Bahamas. While populations along the US Gulf Coast and further south are resident, most North American birds migrate southward for the winter.

Behaviour

This bird is known for its active foraging within the midstory of forests and thickets. It is not uncommon to see it flitting about in search of insects or berries, depending on the season.

Song & Calls

The song of the White-eyed Vireo is a distinctive and variable six to seven-note phrase, bookended by a sharp "chick" sound.

Breeding

The White-eyed Vireo constructs a grass-lined nest, which is a neat cup shape secured to a fork in a tree branch with spider webs. It lays 3-5 dark-spotted white eggs, which are incubated by both parents for 12-16 days. The fledglings leave the nest 9-11 days after hatching.

Diet and Feeding

During the breeding season, the White-eyed Vireo's diet is predominantly composed of insects, especially caterpillars. In the autumn and winter, it supplements its insect diet with berries.

Conservation Status

The White-eyed Vireo is currently listed as Least Concern by the IUCN, indicating that it is not at immediate risk of population decline or extinction.

White-eyed Vireo Sounds

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