Living Bird Magazine
White-eyed VireoVireo griseus
- ORDER: Passeriformes
- FAMILY: Vireonidae
Thickets and scrubby areas seem to vibrate with the spunky song of the White-eyed Vireo every summer in the southeastern United States. From the depths of a thicket, a yellow-spectacled bird peers through, its white eye gleaming and its yellow sides shining. It forages in the understory often out of sight, but sings nearly all day to let you know it's there. It spends the winter along the coast in the United States and farther south in Mexico, the Caribbean, and northern Central America.More ID Info
Find This Bird
White-eyed Vireos are singing machines, often singing well into the heat of the day. That makes it easier to locate the right spot, but getting your binoculars on one might be a little more challenging. They tend to stay down in thick brambles and scrub only peeking out from time to time. To spot one, try following the song with your binoculars while you peer through the shrub layer. Look for movement in the shrubs; when they sing they tend to stretch out their neck and point their bill upwards only to shrink back down on the final chip.
- Vireo Ojiblanco (Spanish)
- Viréo aux yeux blancs (French)
- Cool Facts
- Both the male and the female White-eyed Vireo sing on the wintering grounds, but only the male sings on the breeding grounds.
- In Florida, scientists found a 400,000-year-old wing bone from a White-eyed Vireo from the late Pleistocene. It is North America’s only fossil record for the whole vireo family.
- The White-eyed Vireo bathes by rubbing its body against dewy foliage in the morning.
- The oldest recorded White-eyed Vireo was a male, at least 10 years, 11 months old when he was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in Louisiana, the same state where he had been banded.