Black-capped Vireo

Vireo atricapilla

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Vireos (Vireonidae)

Code 4

BCVI

Code 6

VIRATR

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Vulnerable

The Black-capped Vireo is a small songbird which averages a body length of 12 cm at maturity. It has a historic breeding range of 141,000 square kilometers and inhabits low, dense shrublands maintained by fire, and the ecotone between woodlands and grasslands in parts of Oklahoma, central Texas, and parts of northern Mexico. The areas it uses are often referred to as “shinnery”, and include Shin Oak and Sumac tree species. During the winter, the Black-capped Vireo migrates to tropical forest habitats and second growth in west-central Mexico. This species has disappeared from and declined in many parts of its breeding range because of habitat alteration in the form of over-grazing, development, and fire suppression. Its nests are also heavily parasitized by the Brown-headed Cowbird. For these reasons, the Black-capped Vireo has an estimated population of 20,000 and a conservation rating of Vulnerable.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

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PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

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BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

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SUMMARY

Overview

Black-capped Vireo: Small vireo, olive-green upperparts, black hood, white spectacles interrupted with black above the eye, white underparts with olive-yellow flanks. Wings are dark with two pale bars. Iris is red-brown to red. It has been listed as an endangered species since 1987.

 

Range and Habitat

Black-capped Vireo: This species has a limited range, breeding from central Oklahoma through central Texas and south into northern Mexico. It spends winters in southwestern Mexico along the Pacific coast. Its preferred habitats include rangelands with scattered clumps of shrubs separated by open grasslands.

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Black-capped Vireo SONGS AND CALLS

Black-capped Vireo C1

Song is a series of quick musical phrases.

Black-capped Vireo C2

Alarm call is a harsh, repeated "zhrreee".

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"Come here, right-now-quick", "ji-dit"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Foliage that extends to ground level is the most important requirement for nesting. They will not use sites where many trees are nearing full size.
  • Studies have revealed that as many as 90 percent of the Black-capped Vireo nests in Texas and Oklahoma had been invaded by cowbirds. Under such predation, they may fail to reproduce at a rate that can sustain their population.
  • They have a titmouse-like habit of hanging upside down while foraging among twigs.
  • A group of vireos are collectively known as a "call" of vireos.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Artist

Michael Oberhofer

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

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BACKYARD BIRDING

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BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
RiparianX
Relating to or living or located on the bank of a natural watercourse (as a river) or sometimes of a lake or a tidewater. 
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X