Gray Vireo

Vireo vicinior

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Vireos (Vireonidae)

Code 4

GRVI

Code 6

VIRVIC

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Gray Vireo is a North American passerine species of small bird, breeding throughout a wide range. This bird breeds in the southwestern United States, northern Baja California and western Texas. During colder winter months, this species migrates to northwestern Mexico, western Sonora, the southern Baja Peninsula and Baja California Sur. The preferred habitat of the Gray Vireo includes dry bushy areas, and especially seeks out juniper bushes. They are also found on the slopes of southwestern mountain ranges. One resident population does exist in the Big Bend National Park in the Rio Grande river valley in southwestern Texas. The conservation rating of the Gray Vireo is Least Concern.

SUMMARY

Overview

Gray Vireo: Medium-sized vireo with gray upperparts, faint white spectacles, dark iris, and dull white underparts. The wings are dark gray with indistinct white bars. The sideways twitching of the tail is unique among vireos and is similar to gnatcatchers. Forages in low undergrowth.


Range and Habitat

Gray Vireo: Breeds from southern California east to Colorado, south to western Texas and Baja California. Spends winters south of U.S.-Mexico border. Frequents dry brush, especially juniper, in the pinyon- and juniper-covered slopes of the southwestern mountains; also found in scrub oak and other types of chaparral.

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Gray Vireo SONGS AND CALLS

Gray Vireo A1

Series of rapid scolding calls.

Gray Vireo A2

Scolding calls are a buzzy "eh-eh-eh-eh".

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"chu-wee, chu-wee, che-weet, chee, ch-churr-weet", "churr", "schray"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Gray Vireos wintering in western Texas feed predominantly on insects. In southwestern Arizona and adjacent Sonora, Mexico, however, wintering birds shift from a largely insectivorous summer diet to one of predominantely fruits.
  • Although it catches most of its insect food along the branches of trees and shrubs, it captures more insects on the ground than most vireos. It has been seen to scratch on the ground with its feet like a foraging towhee.
  • The sideways twitching of its tail is unique among vireos and is reminiscent of that of gnatcatchers.
  • 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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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