My adventures in the woods, streams, rivers, fields, and lakes of Michigan

White-eyed Vireo, Vireo griseus

Note: this post, while published, is a work in progress, as are all posts in this series, My Photo Life List. My goal is to photograph every species of bird that is seen on a regular basis here in Michigan, working from a list compiled by the Michigan chapter of the Audubon Society. This will be a lifelong project, that I began in January of 2013, and as I shoot better photos of this, or any other species, I will update the post for that species with better photos when I can. While this series is not intended to be a field guide per se, my minimum standard for the photos in this series is that one has to be able to make a positive identification of the species in my photos. The information posted here is from either my observations or the Wikipedia, the online free encyclopedia, however, I have personally shot all the photos appearing in this series.

White-eyed Vireo, Vireo griseus

The White-eyed Vireo (Vireo griseus) is a small songbird. It breeds in the southeastern USA from New Jersey west to northern Missouri and south to Texas and Florida, and also in eastern Mexico, northern Central America, Cuba and the Bahamas.

Populations on the US Gulf coast and further south are resident, but most North American birds migrate south in winter.

This vireo frequents bushes and shrubs in abandoned cultivation or overgrown pastures. The grass-lined nest is a neat cup shape, attached to a fork in a tree branch by spider webs. 3-5 dark-spotted white eggs are laid. Both the male and female incubate the eggs for 12 – 16 days. The young leave the nest 9 – 11 days after hatching.

The White-eyed Vireo is 13 – 15 cm in length. Its head and back are a greyish olive, and the underparts are white with yellow flanks. The wings and tail are dark, and there are two white wing bars on each wing. The eyes have white irises, and are surrounded by yellow spectacles. Sexes are similar.

The White-eyed Vireo’s song is a variable and rapid six to seven note phrase, starting and ending with a sharp chick.

During the breeding season, the diet of this species consists almost exclusively of insects, primarily caterpillars. In the autumn and winter it supplements its diet of insects with berries.

On to my photos:

White-eyed Vireo, Vireo griseus

White-eyed Vireo, Vireo griseus

White-eyed Vireo, Vireo griseus

White-eyed Vireo, Vireo griseus

White-eyed Vireo, Vireo griseus

White-eyed Vireo, Vireo griseus

White-eyed Vireo, Vireo griseus

White-eyed Vireo, Vireo griseus

This is number 148 in my photo life list, only 202 to go!

That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!



12 responses

  1. A beautiful bird! We were also fortunate to get a few nice pics of one during a recent trip to Florida.

    March 4, 2014 at 10:13 am

    • Thank you!

      March 4, 2014 at 12:25 pm

  2. What a beauty – and great pictures.

    March 4, 2014 at 11:32 am

    • Thank you Lynn!

      March 4, 2014 at 12:25 pm

  3. Nice!

    March 4, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    • Thanks!

      March 4, 2014 at 12:26 pm

  4. It looks like he’s chuckling in that last shot, probably thinking he had you fooled. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a photo of a bird with its eyes closed before.

    March 4, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    • He may have been chuckling, but I usually get the last laugh if I’m using the Sigma lens. It can “see” through tiny openings and focus on the birds as they try to hide.

      March 5, 2014 at 2:43 am

  5. ONLY 202 to go? Is that just for your area?

    March 4, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    • That’s for species of birds regularly seen in Michigan. By regularly seen, at least three confirmed sightings within the last ten years. I have my work cut out for me!

      March 5, 2014 at 2:41 am

  6. What beautiful images! I have yet to see any of the vireos in our area but really look forward to spotting some this year!

    March 5, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    • Thank you, and I wish you success in finding them this summer!

      March 6, 2014 at 2:38 am