Red-eyed Vireo

photo by Phil Swanson

Vireo olivaceus
L 6″ (15 cm).

Song or calls:
Loud, melodious, short phrases of “See me? Here I am! Up here. See? Vireo!.”

Description: Sexes similar. Blue-gray crown; white eyebrow bordered above and below with black; dark olive back, with darker wings and tail; white below; no wing bars; ruby red eye of adults is visible at close range. Immatures have brown eyes, and pale yellow on flanks and undertail coverts.

red eyed vireo
Habitat: Deciduous forests with rather open canopies and fairly large trees.

Where in Nebraska: Common spring and fall migrant across the state, and common summer resident in wooded areas of eastern Nebraska. Locally extends west along river valleys. Regular breeder.

Field Notes: Aggressive towards birds as large as Pileated Woodpeckers around its nest.

Fun Facts: During the summer months the diet of Red-eyed Vireo’s consists of 85% insects, in the winter they eat entirely fruit. Males average a repertoire of 40 song types and rarely sing the same sone type in succession.

Red-eyed Vireo - photo by Phil Swanson Red-eyed Vireo - photo by Phil Swanson
(click image for larger view)