Girish Mahajan (Editor)


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Kingdom  Animalia
Order  Passeriformes
Scientific name  Vireonidae
Rank  Family
Phylum  Chordata
Suborder  Passeri
Higher classification  Passerine
Vireo creagrushomemontereybaycombfowCAVI27Jun15Sar
Lower classifications  Red‑eyed vireo, Warbling vireo, Blue‑headed vireo, White‑eyed vireo, Bell's vireo

The vireos /ˈvɪri.z/ make up a family, Vireonidae, of small to medium-sized passerine birds (mostly) restricted to the New World. "Vireo" is a Latin word referring to a green migratory bird, perhaps the female golden oriole, possibly the European greenfinch.


Vireo Vireo Wikipedia

They are typically dull-plumaged and greenish in color, the smaller species resembling wood warblers apart from their heavier bills. They range in size from the Chocó vireo, dwarf vireo and lesser greenlet, all at around 10 centimeters and 8 grams, to the peppershrikes and shrike-vireos at up to 17 centimeters and 40 grams.

Vireo Blueheaded Vireo Audubon Field Guide

Distribution and habitat

Vireo Warbling Vireo Identification All About Birds Cornell Lab of

Most species are found in Middle America and northern South America. Thirteen species of true vireos occur farther north, in the United States, Bermuda and Canada; of these all but Hutton's vireo are migratory. Members of the family seldom fly long distances except in migration. They inhabit forest environments, with different species preferring forest canopies, undergrowth, or mangrove swamps.

Vireo Blueheaded Vireo Song YouTube

A few species in the genus Vireo have appeared on the eastern side of the Atlantic as vagrants to the Western Palearctic.


The resident species occur in pairs or family groups that maintain territories all year (except Hutton's vireo, which joins mixed feeding flocks). Most of the migrants defend winter territories against conspecifics. The exceptions are the complex comprising the red-eyed vireo, the yellow-green vireo, the black-whiskered vireo, and the Yucatan vireo, which winter in small wandering flocks.


Males of most species are persistent singers. Songs are usually rather simple, monotonous in some species of the Caribbean littoral and islands, and most elaborate and pleasant to human ears in the Chocó vireo and the peppershrikes.


The nests of many tropical species are unknown. Of those that are known, all build a cup-shaped nest that hangs from branches. The female does most of the incubation, spelled by the male except in the red-eyed vireo complex.


All members of the family eat some fruit but mostly insects and other arthropods. They take prey from leaves and branches; true vireos also flycatch, and the gray vireo takes 5 percent of its prey from the ground.


The four genera of these birds make up the family Vireonidae, and are believed to be related to the crow-like birds in family Corvidae and the shrikes in family Laniidae. Recent biochemical studies have identified two babbler genera (Pteruthius and Erpornis) which may be Old World members of this family. Observers have commented on the vireo-like behaviour of the Pteruthius shrike-babblers, but apparently no-one suspected the biogeographically unlikely possibility of vireo relatives in Asia.

The family can be conveniently though perhaps inaccurately categorised by genus as the true vireos, the greenlets, the shrike-vireos and the peppershrikes. Preliminary genetic studies by Johnson et al. revealed large interspecific genetic distances between clades within Vireo and Hylophilus of a similar magnitude to differences between Cyclarhis and Vireolanius. Furthermore some vireo and greenlet species may be closer to the peppershrikes than to their respective congeners. A more comprehensive study may reveal this family to be considerably undersplit at both the generic and species level.


  • Genus Vireo, the true vireos.
  • The "eye-ringed" group.
  • Black-capped vireo, Vireo atricapillus
  • Cozumel vireo, Vireo bairdi
  • San Andres vireo, Vireo caribaeus
  • Yellow-winged vireo, Vireo carmioli
  • Cassin's vireo, Vireo cassinii
  • Thick-billed vireo, Vireo crassirostris
  • Yellow-throated vireo, Vireo flavifrons
  • White-eyed vireo, Vireo griseus
  • Cuban vireo, Vireo gundlachii
  • Hutton's vireo, Vireo huttoni
  • Puerto Rican vireo, Vireo latimeri
  • Choco vireo, Vireo masteri
  • Jamaican vireo, Vireo modestus
  • Flat-billed vireo, Vireo nanus
  • Dwarf vireo, Vireo nelsoni
  • Blue Mountain vireo, Vireo osburni
  • Mangrove vireo, Vireo pallens
  • Plumbeous vireo, Vireo plumbeus
  • Blue-headed vireo, Vireo solitarius
  • Gray vireo, Vireo vicinior
  • The "olivaceous" group.
  • Red-eyed vireo, Vireo olivaceus
  • Chivi vireo, Vireo (olivaceus) chivi
  • Noronha vireo, Vireo gracilirostris
  • Yellow-green vireo, Vireo flavoviridis (sometimes included in V. olivaceus)
  • Black-whiskered vireo, Vireo altiloquus
  • Yucatan vireo, Vireo magister
  • The "gilvus" group.
  • Warbling vireo, Vireo gilvus
  • Western warbling vireo, Vireo swainsonii
  • Brown-capped vireo, Vireo leucophrys
  • Philadelphia vireo, Vireo philadelphicus
  • Bell's vireo, Vireo bellii
  • Clade uncertain.
  • Golden vireo, Vireo hypochryseus
  • Slaty vireo, Vireo brevipennis
  • Genus Hylophilus
  • Group A - Generally with simple song and pale iris.
  • Rufous-crowned greenlet, Hylophilus poicilotis
  • Grey-eyed greenlet, Hylophilus amaurocephalus
  • Scrub greenlet, Hylophilus flavipes
  • Grey-chested greenlet, Hylophilus semicinereus
  • Ashy-headed greenlet, Hylophilus pectoralis
  • Lemon-chested greenlet, Hylophilus thoracicus
  • Olivaceous greenlet, Hylophilus olivaceus
  • Group B - Complex song and dark iris.
  • Brown-headed greenlet, Hylophilus brunneiceps
  • Genus Tunchiornis
  • Tawny-crowned greenlet, Tunchiornis ochraceiceps
  • Genus Pachysylvia
  • Lesser greenlet, Pachysylvia decurtata
  • Dusky-capped greenlet, Pachysylvia hypoxantha
  • Buff-cheeked greenlet, Pachysylvia muscicapina
  • Golden-fronted greenlet, Pachysylvia aurantiifrons
  • Rufous-naped greenlet, Pachysylvia semibrunnea
  • Genus Vireolanius, the shrike-vireos
  • Yellow-browed shrike-vireo, Vireolanius eximius
  • Slaty-capped shrike-vireo, Vireolanius leucotis
  • Chestnut-sided shrike-vireo, Vireolanius melitophrys
  • Green shrike-vireo, Vireolanius pulchellus
  • Genus Cyclarhis, the peppershrikes
  • Rufous-browed peppershrike, Cyclarhis gujanensis
  • Black-billed peppershrike Cyclarhis nigrirostris
  • Possible candidates for relocation to this family

  • Genus Erpornis
  • White-bellied erpornis or white-bellied "yuhina", Erpornis zantholeuca - formerly in Yuhina (Cibois et al. 2002)
  • Genus Pteruthius - shrike-babblers
  • Chestnut-fronted shrike-babbler, Pteruthius aenobarbus
  • White-browed shrike-babbler, Pteruthius flaviscapis
  • Black-eared shrike-babbler, Pteruthius melanotis
  • Black-headed shrike-babbler, Pteruthius rufiventer
  • Green shrike-babbler, Pteruthius xanthochlorus
  • References

    Vireo Wikipedia