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

Black-capped Vireo

Viréo à tête noire

Vireo atricapilla

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Species: The Black-capped Vireo (Vireo atricapilla) is one of the smaller vireos seen in North America and is mostly found in southern Texas and into Mexico. This very attractive vireo is an endangered bird, who finds its habitat in rocky hills, living in scrub oak and undergrowths. The bird's decline is thought to be caused by parasitism by the cowbirds, which lays their own eggs in the vireo's nest. This small active warbler-type bird feeds mostly on insects.

Distinctions: Among all the vireo species, the male and female can be identified separately. Both sexes have white lores and white spectacles, whereas, the male has a dark crown, nape and cheeks and the female has a gray crown, nape and cheeks. Both have olive green bodies, two yellow wing bars, greenish-yellow flanks, white throat, breast and undertail. Both sexes have dark primaries and tail.

Voice: Nasal sounding, similar sounds to other vireo types, multiple call notes. Sings throughout the day even after breeding season.

Nesting: Three to five white eggs, as many as two broods per year. The cup-shaped nest is suspended from a fork in branches of a small tree or bush. The nest is composed of strips of wood bark, plant fibres and lined with fine grasses and spiderwebs.

Birds of North America
B L W W W Family Latin Name
4.5" 11.4cm 7" 17.8cm 0.3oz 8.5g Vireonidae Vireo atricapilla

  • Summer
  • Year Around
  • Winter

Distribution: Constricted to a small area in North America. There is a small population in Oklahoma, mostly found in central Texas, breeding range does enter into Mexico. Winters along Mexico's Pacific coast.

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