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Red-eyed Vireo Vireo olivaceus


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Red-eyed Vireo
credit: John Benson/CCSA

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Vireonidae, Vireos view all from this family

Description ADULT Has olive-gray back and neck. Head has striking pattern of dark gray crown and long, white supercilium, defined above and below by black lines. Note the red iris and rather long bill. Underparts are whitish with dull yellow wash on flanks and undertail. JUVENILE Similar, but with dull iris.

Dimensions Length: 5 1/2 -6 1/2" (14-17 cm)

Habitat Common summer visitor (mainly May-Aug) to temperate woodlands across eastern North America. Winters in South America.

Observation Tips Easy to hear and fairly easy (by vireo standards) to find.

Range California, New England, Rocky Mountains, Western Canada, Florida, Mid-Atlantic, Eastern Canada, Northwest, Plains, Alaska, Southeast, Texas, Great Lakes, Southwest

Voice Song is a varied series of 2-, 3-, and 4-syllable phrases, including tse-Oo-ee and tsee-Ooo, sometimes sung in triplets; call is a nasal zz'nrrr.

Discussion Relatively large and well-marked vireo and the most widespread and familiar of its kind in eastern North America. Forages unobtrusively among foliage and gleans insects while hovering. Easily overlooked if silent, but fortunately it is a vocal species and often attracts attention with its incessant song. Sexes are similar.