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Thick-billed Vireo

Vireo crassirostris

Length: 5.5 inches Wingspan: 8 inches Seasonality: Non-resident in South Dakota
ID Keys: Dull olive-gray upperparts, pale yellow to whitish underparts, 2 white wing bars, large gray bill

Thick-billed Vireo - Vireo crassirostrisThe Thick-billed Vireo is a bird with a small geographic range in the Caribbean, with breeding populations in the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos, and scattered other locations.  In the United States it is but a vagrant, having been found in scattered locations in Florida a number of times. They are very similar to the White-eyed Vireo, but the thicker gray bill and the "broken" eye ring should help a birder distinguish a Thick-billed Vireo from that species.

Habitat: Prefers areas with dense thickets or forest undergrowth. 

Diet: Feeds heavily on insects and spiders.  They will also sometimes eat berries and small fruits.

Behavior: Foraging is done at a relatively low height, typically in forest undergrowth, thickets, and forest edges.  Insects and spiders are gathered by gleaning from foliage and other vegetation surfaces.

Nesting: The nest of a Thick-billed Vireo is a cup of grasses, lined with softer materials.  The female usually lays 2 or 3 eggs, and both parents help to incubate them.

Migration: Considered a permanent resident throughout most of its range, but some short-distance movements are noted.

Song: Has a variable song of a series of 5 to 7 notes, beginning and ending with a sharp chik.

Similar species: Similar in overall appearance to the White-eyed Vireo. The Thick-billed Vireo can be distinguished by that species by the incomplete eye-ring, "broken" at the top of the eye.

Interactive eBird Map: Click here to access an interactive eBird map of Thick-billed Vireo sightings

Conservation Status: The overall range of the Thick-billed Vireo is small, but populations do not appear to be in any serious threat at this time.  The IUCN currently lists the Thick-billed Vireo as a species of "Least Concern".

Further Information: 1) WhatBird - Thick-billed Vireo

2) BirdLife International - Thick-billed Vireo

3) Cornell's Neotropical Birds - Thick-billed Vireo

Photo Information: Photo taken by Dan Irizarry -  March 7th, 2013 - Near Miami, Florida - Photo licensed under Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License.

Click below for a higher-resolution map
Thick-billed Vireo - Range Map
South Dakota Status: Non-resident in South Dakota

Additional Thick-billed Vireo Photos (coming soon!!)