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Plumbeous Vireo


IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A common and vocal bird of montane forests, the Plumbeous Vireo is found primarily in the southern Rocky Mountains and the Great Basin. Formerly lumped as a "Solitary Vireo" with Cassin's and Blue-headed vireos, it is now considered a separate species.

At a GlanceHelp

Both Sexes
4.7–5.5 in
12–14 cm
0.4–0.7 oz
12–20 g
Other Names
  • Solitary Vireo (in part)
  • Viréo plombé (French)
  • Vireo plomizo (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • The Plumbeous Vireo is the middle form in the "Solitary Vireo" complex. Formerly considered one species, three species now are recognized. In appearance it is the dullest of the three, and it has the hoarsest song, which is very similar to that of the Yellow-throated Vireo.
  • Although the Plumbeous Vireo used to be considered in the same species as Cassin's Vireo, and they both occur in the same area on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada of California, no cases of hybridization of the two are known.
  • The oldest recorded Plumbeous Vireo was at least 5 years old when it was recaught and rereleased during banding operations in new Mexico.



Montane coniferous and mixed forests, and riparian woodlands in arid intermontane basins.



Insects, some fruit in winter.


Nesting Facts
Clutch Size
3–5 eggs
Egg Description
Creamy white with sparse dark spots around larger end.
Condition at Hatching
Naked and pink, with eyes closed.
Nest Description

Open cup suspended by rim from a fork of a branch of a tree or sapling. Woven of spider web, bark strips, grasses, rootlets, and hair, decorated with cocoons, lichens, moss, and catkins. Inner lining of grasses and fine rootlets.

Nest Placement



Foliage Gleaner

Gleans insects from twigs and foliage. Forages in slow and deliberate manner. Some hovering and flycatching.


status via IUCN

Least Concern

Plumbeous Vireo populations are declining. The North American Breeding Bird Survey estimates a decline of over 3% per year between 1966 and 2014, resulting in a cumulative decline of 79% during that time. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 3 million birds, with 73% spending at least part of the year in the U.S., and 82% in Mexico. The species rates a 10 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score. Plumbeous Vireo is not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List.


Range Map Help

Plumbeous Vireo Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings


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bird image Blue-winged Warbler by Brian Sullivan

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