Warbling Vireo

Vireo gilvus


Early Spring Date: April 15
Late Spring Date: May 22
Infrequently Seen

Warbling Vireos nest in the Washington metro area, including at Dyke Marsh, but they are uncommon at Monticello Park. Since 2005, there have been eight springs when none were seen in the park.

Where to See Them in the Park

Warbling Vireos usually forage in the canopy. Sometimes, they perch in the canopy and sing. Because they look so drab, they can be difficult to find, even if they are singing.

Physical Description


Warbling Vireo
Warbling Vireo - Photo by William Higgins

Warbling Vireos are nondescript, and their drabness can be one of the characteristics for identifying them. They have a dull brown back with no wingbars. They have light underparts that sometimes have a yellowish wash. The light line over the eye does not stand out as much as on some of the other vireo species.

Warbling Vireo
Warbling Vireo - Photo by Ashley Bradford

Warbling Vireo
Warbling Vireo - Photo by William Higgins

On some birds, the line over the eye is barely visible.

Vocalizations

Warbling Vireo
Warbling Vireo - Photo by Ashley Bradford

The Warbling Vireo's song is a long warble that sounds like a House or Purple Finch. The song of Warbling Vireos in the eastern United States varies from the song of western ones.

Hear the vocalizations of the Warbling Vireo.

Notes

Warbling Vireos are found throughout the United States and Mexico, as well as parts of Canada and Central America. Birds in different areas sometimes have different plumage, and taxonomists are considering whether to split the species.

Origin of Names

Common Names: Warbling from its song. Vireo is Latin for "green".
Genus Name: Vireo means "green".
Species Name: Gilvus means "yellowish".

Warbling Vireo video footage

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