Birds of North America Home Page

Field Guide for all the Birds of North America

Bell's Vireo

Viréo de Bell

Vireo bellii

Information, images and range maps on over 1,000 birds of North America, including sub-species, vagrants, introduced birds and possibilities


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 and usually near a source of water.

Distinctions: The male and female are very similar looking in appearance. It has a 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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  • Birds of North America
  • Birds of North America
  • Birds of North America
  • Birds of North America
  • Birds of North America

Life, Habitat & Pictures of North American Vireos

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

North American Birds Calls

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  • Summer
  • Year Around
  • Winter
range map

Distribution: The Bell's Vireo is 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. There are at least three sub-species of this vireo.

References to Other Bird Sites:

Avibase - the world bird database This site provides the user with a complete list of bird species, broken down per country, or in the example of the US or Canada, per state and province. Here, bird species names are available in other languages, a great asset to be used as a translation of foreign bird names.

ABA - American Birding Association This site represents an organization that maintains official records of all birds species that have been proven to have been seen inside the perimeters of the North American Continent and the surrounding bodies of water. Regular revised versions are posted to keep the bird list current at all times. This is the list used by all serious birders over their lifetime. You may be aware of the movie called the "Big Year". It was with this list that all the competing birders used in an attempt to set a new record as to how many bird species that could be seen by an individual birder in one calendar year.

I hope you will take advantage of these suggested websites. I have used each of them, in one way or another, throughout the years in my quest to better identify and understand our fine feathered friends.

Classic Collection of North American Birds