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Birds of North America, Vagrant Visitors, Introduced Birds and Possibilities

Bell's Vireo

Viréo de Bell

Vireo bellii


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Species: The Bell's Vireo (Vireo bellii) is one of the smaller vireos seen in North America and bears some resemblance to the smaller Hutton's Vireo. This rather plain looking bird prefers a habitat of scrub-type thickets, rows of bushes along field edges, usually near a source of water.

Distinctions: The male and female are very similar looking in appearance. Has large bill with a visible hook at end of upper bill, same identifying features seen in other vireos. Plain greenish-grey body, weak spectacles, off-white lores, dark line through the eyes, two wing bars, one more apparent than the other. Depending on the race, this vireo converts to a darker plumage, as it is located from west to east across the continent. Breast colours will vary from an off-white to a yellow tint.

Voice: Nasal sounding, similar sounds to other vireo types, multiple call notes. Not unusual to be singing from within a bush or thicket, where it is heard but not seen.

Nesting: Three to five white eggs, speckled with brown or black spots. Suspended from a fork in branches of trees. The nest is composed of strips of wood bark, plant fibres and lined with fine grasses and spiderwebs.

Birds of North America
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B L W W W Family Latin Name
4.75" 12.1cm 7" 17.8cm 0.3 oz 8.5g Vireonidae Vireo bellii

  • Summer
  • Year Around
  • Winter
Bell's Vireo range

Distribution: Seen from south of the Great Lakes into the mid-prairie states, south into Texas, west through New Mexico, Arizona and California and into Mexico, where it will spend its winter months.




References to Other Bird Sites:

Avibase - the world bird database

ABA - American Birding Association

AOS - The American Ornitholgy Society

ABC - American Bird Conservancy

eBird - TheCornellLab of Ornithology

NA - National Geographic

NAC - National Audubon Society


Classic Collection of North American Birds

CCNAB