Hutton’s Vireo

Vireo huttoni
Range Map

The Hutton’s Vireo loves oak woodlands and ranges from southern British Columbia in Canada to Guatemala in Central America.

Most members of the vireo clan migrate between winter and summer homes. Hutton’s Vireos are an exception and are resident year-round in their chosen territory. While they often make seasonal elevation shifts to optimize their feeding opportunities, some remain in the same location, summer and winter. Where I grew up in Southern California, I could expect them as yardbirds throughout the year.

There are two distinctly separate populations of these birds. One group occupies the North American west coast and the other, separated by a broad desert, ranges from southeast Arizona, south into Central America. The interior population is partly migratory. Some scientists studying genetics believe we should separate the Pacific group and the Interior group into their own species.

Science today recognises 13 subspecies of Hutton’s Vireo:

  • Pacific, or Huttoni Group
    • V. h. obscurus lives from British Columbia to northern California.
    • V. h. insularis lives on Vancouver Island in British Columbia (Canada).
    • V. h. parkesi lives in northwestern California.
    • V. h. sierrae lives in the northern Sierra-Nevada range in eastern California.
    • V. h. huttoni lives in California from Monterey along the coast to northern Baja California. We also find them on some of the Channel Islands.
    • V. h. unitti lives on Santa Catalina Island.
    • V. h. oberholseri lives in the Coast Ranges of California from Monterey through southern California.
    • V. h. cognatus lives in southern Baja California (Mexico).
  • Interior, or Stephensi Group
    • V. h. stephensi lives in the southwestern USA, in Arizona and New Mexico, and south into the mountains of central Mexico.
    • V. h. pacificus lives in southwestern Mexico.
    • V. h. carolinae lives in southwestern Texas and eastern Mexico.
    • V. h. mexicanus lives in southern Mexico.
    • V. h. vulcani lives in Guatemala.

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