Common Name

Scientific Name

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Photo by Jim Parrish
Photo Copyright Jim Parrish

The red-eyed vireo, Vireo olivaceus, breeds in Canada and the northern and eastern United States, and winters in the Amazon basin of South America. This species is a rare migrant through Utah, where it is usually found in riparian areas. Its habitat is deciduous woodland. On its breeding grounds and during migration, this species consumes almost exclusively insects. On its wintering grounds, however, its diet consists almost entirely of fruit.

The nest is in a shrub or low in a tree, usually about five to ten feet above the ground, but occasionally as low as two feet or as high as sixty feet. The four eggs, rarely three or five, are incubated by both parents for eleven to fourteen days. The altricial nestlings are tended by both parents and leave the nest at twelve days of age. This species is one of the hosts most frequently parasitized by brown-headed cowbirds.


  • Baicich, P. J., and C. J. O. Harrison. 1997. A guide to the nests, eggs, and nestlings of North American birds. 2nd ed. Academic, San Diego. 347 pp.

  • Ehrlich, P. R., D. S. Dobkin, and D. Wheye. 1988. The birderís handbook[:] a field guide to the natural history of North American birds. Simon & Schuster, New York. xxx + 785 pp.