Bell’s Vireo

photo by Phil Swanson

Vireo bellii
L 4 3/4″ (12 cm).

Song or calls:
Listen (NGPC audio)

Song is rapid series of coarse “chips.” climax is alternately slurred upward and downward.

Description: Sexes similar. Small, nondescript. Olive-gray above; light underparts with pale buffy yellow sides; indistinct white spectacles; and two faint whitish wing bars, with the lower bar being more prominent. Short wings make tail look long.

Bell's Vireo NE estimated range
Habitat: Found in thickets near streams or rivers, in second-growth scrub, forest edges, and brush patches.

Where in Nebraska: Common spring and fall migrant and summer resident in eastern Nebraska. Becomes rarer westwardly. Breeds locally to the west along major river valleys.

Status: Population is seriously declining in southern California, largely due to brood parasitism by cowbirds.

Fun Facts: Bell’s Vireos have not been observed drinking water, indicating they may get all the water they need from their food.

Bell's Vireo - photo by Phil Swanson Bell's Vireo - photo by Phil Swanson
(click image for larger view)