Birds Vol 1 #6 – The Yellow-throated Vireo

Yellow-throated Vireo for Birds Illustrated by Color Photography, 1897

Yellow-throated Vireo for Birds Illustrated by Color Photography, 1897 – From col. F. M. Woodruff.

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

Vol 1. June, 1897 No. 6


The Yellow-throated Vireo


HE popular name of this species of an attractive family is Yellow Throated Greenlet, and our young readers will find much pleasure in watching its pretty movements and listening to its really delightful song whenever they visit the places where it loves to spend the happy hours of summer. In some respects it is the most remarkable of all the species of the family found in the United States. “The Birds of Illinois,” a book that may be profitably studied by the young naturalist, states that it is decidedly the finest singer, has the loudest notes of admonition and reproof, and is the handsomest in plumage, and hence the more attractive to the student.

A recognized observer says he has found it only in the woods, and mostly in the luxuriant forests of the bottom lands. The writer’s experience accords with that of Audubon and Wilson, the best authorities in their day, but the habits of birds vary greatly with locality, and in other parts of the country, notably in New England, it is very familiar, delighting in the companionship of man. It breeds in eastern North America, and winters in Florida, Cuba and Central America.

The Vireo makes a very deep nest, suspended by its upper edge, between the forks of a horizontal branch. The eggs are white, generally with a few reddish brown blotches. All authorities agree as to the great beauty of the nest, though they differ as to its exact location. It is a woodland bird, loving tall trees and running water, “haunting the same places as the Solitary Vireo.” During migration the Yellow-throat is seen in orchards and in the trees along side-walks and lawns, mingling his golden colors with the rich green of June leaves.

The Vireos, or Greenlets, are like the Warblers in appearance and habits. We have no birds, says Torrey, that are more unsparing of their music; they sing from morning till night, and—some of them, at least—continue theirs till the very end of the season. The song of the Yellow-throat is rather too monotonous and persistent. It is hard sometimes not to get out of patience with its ceasless and noisy iteration of its simple tune; especially if you are doing your utmost to catch the notes of some rarer and more refined songster. This is true also of some other birds, whose occasional silence would add much to their attractiveness.

Yellow-throated Vireo (Vireo flavifrons) by Anthony 747

Yellow-throated Vireo (Vireo flavifrons) by Anthony 747

Lee’s Addition:

And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. (Mark 1:35 KJV)

The Yellow-throated Vireo (Vireo flavifrons) is a small American songbird.

Yellow-throated Vireo (Vireo flavifrons) singing ©nebirdsplus

Yellow-throated Vireo (Vireo flavifrons) singing ©nebirdsplus

Adults are mainly olive on the head and upperparts with a yellow throat and white belly; they have dark eyes with yellow “spectacles”. The tail and wings are dark with two white wing bars. They have thick blue-grey legs and a stout bill that is hooked. The sexes are similar and juveniles are similar to adults. They are 5-5.5 in. long.

Yellow-throated Vireo (Vireo flavifrons) ©WikiC up close

Yellow-throated Vireo (Vireo flavifrons) ©WikiC up close

Their breeding habitat is open deciduous woods in southern Canada and the eastern United States. They make a thick cup nest attached to a fork in a tree branch. They usually lay 3-5 creamy white eggs with a few spots. Other than breeding times, they are mostly solitary birds.

They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in. (Psalms 107:4 KJV)

These birds migrate to the deep southern United States, Mexico and Central America. They are very rare vagrants to western Europe. There is one record from Britain in Kenidjack Valley Cornwall September 20-27 1990. There is also a sight report from Germany.

They forage for insects high in trees. They also eat berries, especially before migration and in winter when they are occasionally seen feeding on Gumbo-limbo (Bursera simaruba) fruit.

Yellow-throated Vireo (Vireo flavifrons) ©WikiC

Yellow-throated Vireo (Vireo flavifrons) ©WikiC

The Yellow-throated Vireo is part of the Vireonidae – Vireos, Greenlets Family which has 63 species in 6 genus. They are in the Vireo genus which 31 species. There are no subspecies of this bird.


Birds Illustrated by Color Photograhy Vol 1 June, 1897 No 6 - Cover

Birds Illustrated by Color Photograhy Vol 1 June, 1897 No 6 – Cover

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited – Introduction

The above article is the first article in the monthly serial that was started in January 1897 “designed to promote Knowledge of Bird-Live.” These include Color Photography, as they call them, today they are drawings. There are at least three Volumes that have been digitized by Project Gutenberg.

To see the whole series of – Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited


(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources)

Next Article – The Mockingbird

Previous Article – The Bird Song

Wordless Birds


Vireonidae – Vireos, Greenlets Family

Yellow-throated Vireo – South Dakota Birds and Birding

Yellow-throated vireo Vireo flavifrons – USGS

Yellow-throated Vireo – All About Birds

Yellow-throated Vireo – Wikipedia


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