Red-Eyed Vireo

Vireo olivaceus

The Red-Eyed Vireo breeds extensively across Canada and eastern North America and migrates to South America’s Amazon basin in winter.

Today’s science suggests two subspecies of Red-Eyed Vireo in North America. V. o. olivaceus breeds across most of Canada, while V. o. caniviridis breeds in western USA’s Great Basin and the northwest, including Oregon, Washington and Idaho. There is a population of Red-Eyed Vireos that remains as residents in South America. I believe this subspecies was V. o. chivi, which is now reclassified as its own species, the Chivi Vireo (Vireo chivi), and has nine subspecies of its own.

Red-Eyed Vireos are prolific singers. One observer note a bird sang 22,197 songs over a 14 hour period, pausing only four hours during the day. Some listeners find these songs monotonous, which is typical of many vireos. Their songs are a blend of phrases ending with up slurs followed by a phrase with a down slur, and reminds us of an endless conversation with questions, followed by answers.

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