The Bird Book/Vireos

The Bird Book by Chester A. Reed
Vireos: Family Vireonidae


623. BLACK-WHISKERED VIREO. Vireosylva calidris


Range. A Central American species, breeding in Cuba, I

Bahamas and southern Florida.

Like the Red-eyed Vireo but with a J \, -r'fr <*<BM

5V BHk dusky streak on either side of the chin. ff/

They build pensile nests of strips of bark afrd fibres, swung from the forks of branches. The eggs cannot be distinguished from those of the next species, White being white, more or less specked about

the large end with reddish brown and umber. Size .78 x .55. A

622a 622b



624. RED-EYED VIREO. Vireosylva olivacea

Range. United States, east of the Rockies, breeding north to Labrador, Manitoba and British Columbia.

This is the most common of the Vireos in the greater part of its range and is a most perpistent songster, frequenting groves, open woods or roadsides. Their eyes are brown, scarcely if any more red than those of any other species and I have yet to see one with red eyes out- \

side of mounted museum specimens. They swing their nests from the forks of trees at any . elevation from the ground but usually below ten feet, and I have found them White

where the bottom rested on the ground; they are made of strips of bark, fibre, etc., and often have pieces of string or paper woven into the sides; they are one of the most beautiful of

bird homes and are woven so strongly that old

nests hang to the branches for several seasons. Red-eyed Vireo Their three or four eggs, often accompanied by

one of the Cowbirds, are laid in May or June; they are white, sparingly specked

with blackish brown. Size .85 x .55.

625. YELLOW-GREEN VIREO. Vireosylva flavoviridis. Range. Southern Texas and southward to South America.

Similar, to the Red-eye but greener above and more yellowish on the sides. The nesting habits are the same and the eggs indistinguishable from those of that species.

626. PHILADELPHIA VIREO. Vireosylva philadelphica

Range. Eastern United States breeding from northern New England and Manitoba northward.

This species is much smaller than the Red-eye (length 5 in.) and is yellowish below, and without black edges to the gray

crown. Their eggs do not dif

'^^^^^ fer from those of the Redeyed Vireo except in size, averaging .70 x .50. White 627- WARBLING VIREO. Vireosylva gilva


Range. North America east to the Plains, breeding north to Labrador.

This Vireo is nearly as abundant as the Redeye but is not generally as well known, probably because it is usually higher in the trees and more concealed from view. Their nests are like those of the Red-eye, but smaller and usually placed higher in the trees. The birds are even more persistent singers, than are the latter but the song is more musical and delivered in a more even manner, as they creep about among the foliage, peering t - * under every leaf for lurking

insects. The eggs are pure write, spotted with brown or White reddish brown. Size .72 x .52.



C. A. Reed


627a. WESTERN WARBLING VIREO. Vireosylva gilva srvainsoni.

Range. Western United States, breeding from Mexico to British Columbia.

This species is like the last but said to be a trifle smaller and paler color. Its nesting habits and eggs are precisely like those of the eastern form.



Creamy white

Yellow- throated Vireo


Range. United States east of the Plains, breeding from the Gulf to Manitoba and New Brunswick.

This handsome bird is wholly unlike any others of the Vireos, having a bright yellow throat and breast; the upper parts are greenish and the wings and tail gray, the latter with two white bars. They are fairly common breeding birds in northern United States, placing their handsome basketlike structures in forks of branches and at any elevation from the ground; the nests are like those of the preceding Vireos but are frequently adorned on the outside with lichens, thereby adding materially to their natural beauty. The four or five eggs are pinkish or creamy white, speckled about the large end with reddish brown. Size .80 x .60.

629. BLUE-HEADED VIREO. Lanivireo solitarius solitarius.

Range. Eastern United States, breeding from southern New England and the northern states north to Hudson Bay; winters in the Gulf States and southward.

A beautiful Vireo with a slaty blue crown and nape, greenish back, white wing bars and underparts, the flanks being washed with greenish yellow; a conspicuous mark is the white eye ring and loral spot. They build firm, pensile, basket-like White nests of strips of birch and grapevine bark, lined with fine

grasses and hair, suspended from forks, usually

at low elevation and often in pine or fir treeo

(of some twenty nests that I have found in

New England all have been in low branches of

conifers). Their three or four white eggs are

specked with reddish brown. Size .80 x .60.

()29a- CASSIN'S VIREO. cassini.

Lanivireo solitarius

Range. United States west of the Rockies; north to British Columbia.

Similar to the last but with the back grayish.

62Qb. PLUMBEOUS VIREO. Lanivireo soliRange. Rocky Mountain region, breeding

from Mexico to Dakota and Wyoming.

Like the Blue-headed Vireo but with the

yellowish wholly replaced by leaden gray.


Blue-headed Vireo

629c. MOUNTAIN VIREO. Lanivireo solitarius alticola.

Range. Mountains of Carolina and Georgia; winters in Florida.

Said to be larger and darker than solitariuv proper. From all accounts, the habits, nests or eggs of this species differ in no wise from many of those of the northern Solitary Vireo, whose nests show great variations in size and material.

62Qd. SAN LUCAS VIREO. Lanivireo solitarius lucasanus.

Range. Southern Lower California.

Similar to cassini but with the flanks more yellow. Their nesting habits or eggs will not differ from the others.



Vireo atricapil

to Kansas ;

Range. Central Texas north

winters in Mexico. Black-capped Vireo

This peculiar Vireo has a black crown and sides of head, broken by a white eye ring and loral stripe; upper parts greenish, below white. They appear to be fairly common in certain localities of their restricted range, and nest at low elevations in mesquites or oaks, placing the nests in forks the same as other Vireos; they are of the ordinary Vireo architecture, lined with grasses. The three or four eggs are pure white, unmarked. Size .70 x .50. Data. Comal Co., Texas, May 21, 1888, 4 eggs. Nest

located in a scrub Spanish oak, 5 feet from the ground.

fi.Sl. WHITE-EYED VIREO. Vireo griseus griseus.

Range. Eastern United States, breeding from the Gulf to northern United


This Vireo has white eyes, as implied by its name, is yellowish green on the sides and with two prominent bars. They have no song, like the other Vireos, but a strange medley of notes resembling those of the Chat or Shrike. They nest near the ground in tangled thickets, making large ^ nests for the size of the birds and not always suspended; they are made of weeds, leaves, grass, bark or any trash. Their three or four eggs are laid late in May or White

early in June; they are white, sparingly speckled with brown; size .75 x .55.

63 la. KEY WEST VIREO. Vireo griseus maynardi.

Range. Southern Florida.

This grayer and paler variety nests in the

same manner and the eggs are not distinct

White-eyed Vireo from those of the last form.



63 lb. BERMUDA VIREO. Vireo griseus bermudianus.

Range. Bermudas.

This variety is said to be slightly smaller and to have no yellow on the sides. Its eggs are probably the same as those of the others.

63 Ic. SMALL WHITE-EYED VIREO. Vireo griseus micrus.

Range. Eastern Mexico north to southern Texas.

Said to be slightly smaller and grayer than the common White-eyed Vireo. Its eggs will not differ.

632. HUTTON'S VIREO. Vireo huttoni huttoni.

Range. Resident on the California coast; chiefly in the southern parts.

A similar species to noveboracensis but r with the under parts tinged with yellow. These birds are quite common but shy, nesting at any height from the ground in open woods or groves; the nests are made of grasses and moss and swung from forked limbs ; the three or four eggs are pure white,


finely specked with reddish brown. Size .70 x .50.

632a. STEPHEN'S VIREO. Vireo huttoni stephensi.

Range. Northwestern Mexico and the boundary of the United States.

This variety, which is more yellowish than the last, appears to be rather uncommon but as far as I can learn its habits and nesting do not differ from those of the other Vireos; the eggs are white, specked with brown. Size .70 x .50.

632c. ANTHONY'S VIREO. Vireo huttoni obscurus.

Range. Pacific coast from Oregon (and Cal. in winter) to British Columbia.

The nesting habits and eggs of this darker and smaller variety are the same in all respects as those of the Hutton's Vireo.


Vireo belli belli.

States, breeding from

Range. Interior of the United Texas to Minnesota and Dakota.

The nesting habits of this smaller species are just the same as those of the larger varieties, they suspending their small grasswoven baskets in the forks of bushes or trees and usually at a low elevation. Their nests are handsome and compact little structures, being often made almost wholly of strips of bark lined with very fine grasses. The eggs are white, specked with reddish brown. Size .70 x .50. Data. Austin, Texas, June 16, 1898. Nest of strips of bark, fibres and grasses, neatly woven and swung from the fork of a low bush, 2 feet from the ground.




633a. LEAST VIREO. Vireo belli pusillus.

Range. Western Mexico, Arizona and southern California.

This Vireo is slightly smaller and grayer than the last; they are quite common in southern Arizona, nesting the same as Bell's at low elevations in bushes or small trees. The eggs cannot be distinguished from those of IcUi.

634. GRAY VIREO. Vireo vicinior.

Range. Southwestern United States from western Texas, southern California and Nevada southward.

This species is grayish above and grayish white below, with white eye ring, lores and wing bar. They are not uncommon birds in the Huachuca Mts. of southern Arizona, where they nest in bushes at low elevations, making the semi-pensile struc- X tures of woven strips of bark and grasses, lined with fine round ] ... grasses attached by the rim to a fork and sometimes stayed on the side by convenient twigs. Eggs white, specked with brown. Size .72 x .53.