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Field Guide for all the Birds of North America

Black-whiskered Vireo

Viréo à moustaches

Vireo altiloquus

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


Species: The Black-whiskered Vireo (Vireo altiloquus) is a tropical vireo seen along the southeastern perimeters of the US. It is similar in size to the Red-eyed Vireo but with a larger bill and shows more of an amber-coloured iris instead of a red iris. It is common on some of the Caribbean islands and is a spring and summertime visitor to the mainland only. It prefers to make its habitat near the coast and mangroves.

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. Gray head, white eyebrows and face, with dark eyeline and mustache. Greenish back and tail, dusky to yellow flanks and undertail, dull white throat and breast, no wing bars.

Voice: Nasal sounding, similar sounds to other vireo types, multiple call notes, more pressing than the Red-eyed Vireo. It prefers staying high in tree when singing and in its search for insects.

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

Life, Habitat & Pictures of North American Vireos

B L W W W Family Latin Name
6.25" 15.9cm 10" 25.4cm 0.6 oz 17g Vireonidae Vireo altiloquus

  • Summer
  • Year Around
  • Winter
range map

Distribution:The Black-whiskered Vireo is found throughout the coastlines on the southern tip of Florida in the spring and summer months. It will depart in late summer or early fall to make its way to the Caribbean islands. This vireo is common in the Central America tropics as well.

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