Warbling Vireo
Vireo gilvus
Family: Vireonidae

Warbling Vireo
Magnolia glauca
The Warbling Vireo is 5-6" in length with a wingspan of 8 1/2-9 1/2". Upper parts are light greenish-olive, the head and hind neck greyish-brown. A white band over the eye, wings and tail brown, quills edged with green; lower parts are a dull yellowish-white with the sides tinged with yellow.

This bird lacks all of the conspicuous markings found on other vireos. He blends into the foliage of elms and poplars in the east and cottonwoods and aspens in the west. These birds can be found in open country, woods and in isolated trees. The flight of the Warbling Vireo is performed by gentle glidings, and seldom extends to a greater length than a hundred yards at a time.


The song of the Warbling Vireo is a long-flowing warble in a pronounced phrase of brig-a-dier, briga-dier, brigate. The male sings from morning to night, so sweetly, so tenderly, with so much mellowness and softness of tone, and yet with notes so low, without the least desire to attract the attention of rivals. Even its chiding notes of tsche-tsche, is low and unobtruding.


Canada to southern US and eastern Virginia. Winters from central Mexico to El Salvador.


Both mated pairs of Warbling Vireos, build a cup-like nest, suspended from a slender twig at the end of a branch anywhere from 30-60 feet above ground in an elm, sycamore, oak, maple or lower in bushes, apple trees and alders. Slender blades of grass and bits of corn-husks are used to construct the nest while grasses, feathers, and horse-hair are used to line the nest. During the months of April-July, as many as 3-5 eggs are laid. They are small, narrow oval form, white, thinly spotted with reddish-black at the larger end. Incubation is performed by both male and female and the eggs hatch in approximatley 12-14 days with the first young bird leaving the nest 12-14 days after hatching.

Natural Feeding Habits:

The principal food of the Warbling Vireo consists of small black caterpillars, eggs of moths and butterflies, beetles, ants, scale insects, grasshoppers and flies. When searching for food, they move sideways along the twigs, now and then balancing themselves on the wing opposite their prey, and snapping it.

Other Names:

Other names for the Warbling Vireo is Warbling Greenlet and Eastern Warbling Vireo.

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