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Merlin Bird ID

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    Red-eyed Vireo

    ID Info
    Silhouette VireosVireos

    Red-eyed Vireo

    Vireo olivaceus
    • ORDER: Passeriformes
    • FAMILY: Vireonidae
    Basic Description

    A tireless songster, the Red-eyed Vireo is one of the most common summer residents of Eastern forests. These neat, olive-green and white songbirds have a crisp head pattern of gray, black, and white. Their brief but incessant songs—sometimes more than 20,000 per day by a single male—contribute to the characteristic sound of an Eastern forest in summer. When fall arrives, they head for the Amazon basin, fueled by a summer of plucking caterpillars from leaves in the treetops.

    More ID Info
    image of range map for Red-eyed VireoRange map provided by Birds of North AmericaExplore Maps

    Find This Bird

    Red-eyed Vireos are very common in Eastern forests during summer. They can be hard to see in the treetops, particularly after the trees leaf out, but this is one bird that really highlights the value of learning bird songs. Their short, rising-and-falling song is fairly easy to recognize and the birds give it almost all day long, including during the mid-afternoon doldrums when few other species are singing. Learning this song helps in two ways: it makes it easier to find the species, and it gives you a familiar song against which to compare other songs and perhaps find additional species. On migration, look for the species in nearly any patch of trees. On the species’ South American winter range, it retains its fondness for forest canopy and trees with large leaves.

    Other Names
    • Vireo Ojos Rojos (Spanish)
    • Viréo aux yeux rouges (French)
    • Cool Facts