Black-whiskered Vireo

Vireo altiloquus




Vireos (Vireonidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

White with brown, purple and black specks

Number of Eggs:

2 - 3

Incubation Days:

12 - 14

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

In the fork of a branch, usually in mangroves.

Nest Material:

Twigs, grass, plant fibers, spider webs, cocoons, and lichens., Lined with grass, pine needles, and hair.





Black-whiskered Vireo: Large vireo with olive-green upperparts and olive-buff washed white underparts. Head has gray crown, dark whisker (moustache stripe) along sides of throat, white eyebrow with black border, and red-brown eyes. Bill is black, straight, and slightly hooked. Sexes are similar. Juvenile has brown eyes and more yellow on underparts.

Range and Habitat

Black-whiskered Vireo: Breeds in southern Florida and the West Indies as far south as the offshore islands of Venezuela. Partial migrant, with northern birds wintering from the Greater Antilles to northern South America. Occurred as a rare vagrant to Costa Rica. Habitat is open deciduous wooded areas and cultivation, and in Florida also mangroves.

Breeding and Nesting

Black-whiskered Vireo: Two to three white eggs with fine brown, purple, and black specks are laid in a nest made of twigs, grass, plant fibers, spider webs, cocoons, and lichens, lined with grass, pine needles, and hair, and built from 3 to 20 feet above the ground on a thin branch of a shrub or tree. Incubation ranges from 12 to 14 days and is carried out by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Black-whiskered Vireo: Eats a variety of insects but also takes some spiders and fruits; forages slowly and deliberately, picking food from leaves and branches.


Black-whiskered Vireo: Song is a humorous mnemonic of "whip-tom-KELLY", "John-to-whit", or "cheap-john-stir-up." Call is mewing "quee."

Similar Species

Black-whiskered Vireo: Red-eyed Vireo has shorter bill, lacks dark malar stripe, and has darker upperparts.


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

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
Also called the supercilicum or superciliary it is the arch of feathers over each eye.
Also called the mustache, malar steak or stripe, it is the contrasting colored feathers on each side of the chin down through the throat area.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X