Warbling VireoVireo gilvus

Garth McElroy/VIREO
Brian E. Small/VIREO
Glenn Bartley/VIREO
Glenn Bartley/VIREO
Dr. Edgar T. Jones/VIREO
Warbling Vireo
Warbling Vireo



5-6" (13-15 cm). Sparrow-sized. Similar to Red-eyed Vireo: olive-green above, whitish below, with no wing bars-but lacks bold face pattern, having only a narrow white eyebrow. The Philadelphia Vireo is also similar, but has yellow tinge to underparts and dark spot between eye and base of bill.


Drowsy, rambling warble, like song of Purple Finch but slower; ends on rising note.


song #1
song #3
eeah calls
vit and eeah calls
song #2


Deciduous woodlands, especially near streams; in isolated groves and shade trees.


Breeds from British Columbia, southern Mackenzie, Manitoba, and New Brunswick south to northern Mexico, Louisiana, and Virginia. Winters in tropics.


The best place to look for this modestly plumaged vireo is in a grove of tall shade trees on the bank of a stream. Here, in the breeding season, one may hear its rambling song and, after a careful search, spot it moving deliberately through the foliage in pursuit of insects. Although still common in many areas, the Warbling Vireo has decreased considerably because of extensive spraying of pesticides on shade trees.


3 or 4 brown-spotted white eggs in a well-made pendant cup of bark strips and plant down fastened to a forked twig, usually near the top of a tall tree.

Similar Species

adult male, Pacific

Orange-crowned Warbler

4 1/2-5 1/2" (11-14 cm). Olive green above with orange crown feathers, which usually remain hidden. Olive-yellow underparts with very faint breast streaking. No eye ring or wing bars.

adult male, breeding

Tennessee Warbler

5" (13 cm). In spring, male greenish above, white below, with gray cap, white line over eye, dusky line through eye. In fall, olive above, yellowish below.


Black-whiskered Vireo

5 1/2" (14 cm). Similar to the Red-eyed Vireo (olive green above, white below), but with a dusky streak below the eye that gives bird its name.

adult, Texas

Bell's Vireo

4 3/4 -5" (12-13 cm). Smaller than a sparrow. Dull olive-gray above, whitish below, with faint white eye ring and fainter wing bars.


Yellow-green Vireo

6-7" (15-18 cm). Sparrow-sized. Olive-green above, paler below, with yellowish tinge on back, flanks, and undertail coverts; dull gray crown; whitish eyebrow. Eye red.


Red-eyed Vireo

5 1/2 -6 1/2" (14-17 cm). Sparrow-sized. Olive green above, whitish below, with a narrow white eyebrow bordered above with black. Gray crown; red eye (eye dark in immature); no wing bars.


Philadelphia Vireo

6" (15 cm). Sparrow-sized. Olive above, yellowish below, with pale eyebrow, dark line through eye to base of bill, and no wing bars.


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