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


The Red-eyed Vireo – The Persistent Singer…

Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus) by Kent Nickell

Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus) by Kent Nickell

The Red-eyed Vireo – The Persistent Singer… ~ by a j mithra

The Red-eyed Vireo, Vireo olivaceus, is a small American songbird, 13–14 cm (5.1-5.5 in) in length. It is somewhat warbler-like but not closely related to the New World warblers (Parulidae).

The Red-eyed Vireo is a Neotropical migrant that makes its way from its home in Central and South America to the deciduous woodlands of North America to select a territory, win a mate and raise its young.

Throughout the eastern United States, Red-eyed Vireos are common in deciduous woodlands. However in Washington they are largely confined to stream and lakeside woodlands and cottonwood stands.

  • These small birds migrate long distances to win a mate and raise their younger ones..
  • Though they are birds, they still take so much effort to raise a family..

God has created us in His own image, its good, but, how much effort do we take to win a mate and raise a family?

Isaac was meditating when his father’s servant Eliezer was returning with a bride for Isaac as per Abraham’s instructions….

Now Isaac had come from Beer Lahai Roi, for he was living in the Negev.
He went out to the field one evening to meditate,and as he looked up, he saw camels approaching.
Rebekah also looked up and saw Isaac. She got down from her camel and asked the servant, “Who is that man in the field coming to meet us?”
“He is my master,” the servant answered. So she took her veil and covered herself.
Then the servant told Isaac all he had done. Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death. (Genesis 24:62-66)

How many men meditate on the word of God before they get married?

  • Is it because of lack of meditation on the word that marriages are not successful these days?
  • Recent study shows that the rate of divorce is much more than marriages…
  • Is it because of we lack the fear of the Lord?

God holds marriage in high esteem that is the reason He calls Himself as the bridegroom and the church as His bride..

  • How much does the church honor the relationship of a husband and wife?

So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs[a] and then closed up the place with flesh.
Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.”
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. (Genesis 2:21-24)

Red-eyed vireo is difficult to see because it forages high in the canopy, picking food from the undersides of foliage, hopping or hovering in the leaves. It is an arboreal bird of the canopy, where it is very active although rather heavy in its movements, maintaining a horizontal posture.

Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus) by Kent Nickell

Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus) by Kent Nickell

This species migrates over long distances, and mostly at night. Red-eyed Vireo is relatively heavy when moving over short distances, but it can be very active too. Its flight is altogether performed in a gliding manner, and when it is engaged in pursuit of a rival or an enemy, it passes through the woods with remarkable swiftness. The small territory of this species consists of a cylinder extending from the forest canopy to the low understory.

Red-eyed Vireos can also be difficult to see because they forage high in the canopy, where they pick food from the undersides of foliage, hopping about or hovering in the leaves.

During courtship and nesting seasons, their prominent, repeated calls readily reveal their presence.

  • No one can see us when we hide under the shadow of its wings…
  • But they can hear us worship His holy name..
  • Well, do we really worship Him all the days of our lives?

The purpose of God creating us is not fulfilled unless we worship Him. After all, God created us to put us in satan’s place to worship Him and Him alone..

  • If we don’t worship now, the stones will…

And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out. (Luke 19:40)

Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus) by Kent Nickell

Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus) by Kent Nickell

These birds are important to maintaining the health of our forests. They consume large quantities of insects and caterpillars harmful to tree foliage. It is an effective predator on gypsy moths, fall webworms, tree hoppers, scale insects and others.

  • The way we live is important in maintaining the health of our fellow being…
  • These birds consume large quantities of harmful insects….
  • God expects our prayerful presence to consume the evil works of satan among our family and friends….

Job prayed for his friends amidst disaster and God blessed him double fold….

  • Do we pray for our friends like Job?

And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before. (Job 42:10)

Red-eyed Vireos glean insects from tree foliage, favoring caterpillars and aphids and sometimes hovering while foraging. In some tropical regions, they are commonly seen to attend mixed-species feeding flocks, moving through the forest higher up in the trees than the bulk of such flocks.

They also eat berries, especially before migration, and in the winter quarters, where trees bearing popular fruit like Tamanqueiro (Alchornea glandulosa) or Gumbo-limbo (Bursera simaruba) will even attract them to parks and gardens. Fruit are typically not picked up from a hover, but the birds often quite acrobatically reach for them, even hanging upside down.

Although animal food makes up 85 percent of its summer diet, the Red-eyed Vireo may be completely frugivorous (fruit-eating) during the winter and late summer. In summer, Red-eyed Vireos feed mostly on adult insects and larvae, especially caterpillars.

During the courtship, male performs displays, flicking on its legs, with fluffy feathers and fan-shaped tail.

Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus) by Kent Nickell

Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus) by Kent Nickell

During incubation, the male sings faster, 50/60 phrases a minute. When it stops, female comes off the nest and it feeds her, or they feed together. They are monogamous. Which means, the female birds is willing to even starve and will not leave its nest until the male bird stops singing..

Do we wait to know God’s will in our lives or do we wait for God’s direction in our lives or do we set about doing what we wish to do?

  • God became a signpost on the cross of Calvary to show us where to go..
  • Are we willing to look up to the cross for direction?

Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD. (Psalm 34:11)

Red-eyed Vireo is highly territorial on breeding areas, and it’s very noisy. When it’s wintering in South America, it does not sing.

The breeding habitat is open wooded, deciduous and mixed deciduous forest areas across Canada and the eastern and northwestern United States.

These birds migrate to South America, where they spend the winter. The Latin American population occur in virtually any wooded habitat in their range. Most of these are residents, but the populations breeding in the far southern part of this species’ range (e.g. most of its range in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia) migrate north as far as Central America.

This vireo is one of the more frequent American passerine vagrants to western Europe, with more than one hundred records, mainly in Ireland and Great Britain.

In northern Ohio, it seems to return to breed at about the same time as one century ago; intriguingly, it might actually leave for winter quarters one or two weeks earlier at present than it did in the past..

Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus) ©WikiC in nest

Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus) ©WikiC in nest

Nest is built 1, 5 to 20 metres above the ground. Female builds the nest in five days, without assistance from the male. Nest is made of vine-bark strips, grass, needles and twigs. The outer parts are firmly attached to the twigs, the fibres being warped around them in various directions. The lining is beautifully disposed. It consists of fibrous roots, grasses, and sometimes the hair of grey squirrel and raccoon. It is covered on the outside with wasp’s nest paper, and spider webbing. It is a typical vireo nest, suspended by its rim from a horizontally forked twig, or the corner of a tree trunk, and two radiating branches.

Female lays 3 to 4 eggs. Incubation lasts about 11 to 14 days only by female. Both parents feed the young during 10 to 12 days when they are in the nest. Female and perhaps male, continue to feed them for up to two weeks after they leave the nest.

Most likely call to be heard is a nasal, querulous “tshay” or “chway”, although migrants are usually silent.

(Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus) song-by xeno-canto)

Calls include a nasal whining “quee”.

(Red-eyed Vireo subspecies chivi – from xeno-canto.)

Video of a Red-eyed Vireo singing by Robert Schaefer

Persistent song, sung all day, a variable series of deliberate, short phrases.

During courtship and nesting seasons, their repeated calls reveal their presence.

Their persistent song is legendary. It is repeated as often as 40 times a minute, all through the day..

Red-eyed Vireos were once considered one of the three most abundant birds of the forests of Eastern North America.

Their persistent song is legendary. A single individual was once heard to sing 22,197 songs during a single day (Lawrence 1953).

  • How long and how much do we sing for the Lord?
  • David sang praises to the Lord at all times and that was the reason God loved him so much..
  • David sang new songs like these birds that may be another reason for the favours that he won from God..

If these 13 to 14 cm long birds can sing up to 22,197 songs in about ten hours which comes to roughly about 2200 songs per hour which in turn comes to about 37 songs per minute, how much we should sing?

O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth (Psalm 96:1)

This verse was written for God’s own people, but, sadly this bird has taken the cue and we have chosen to shut our mouth rather than to shout to the King…

Come let us sing to win favour from THE KING…

Have a blessed day!

Your’s in YESHUA,

a j mithra please visit us at:



Lee’s Addition:
Thanks, aj. I enjoyed putting the photos and sound in this one. They are in this area, but I have not seen one yet.

Also, when a j sent in his draft, he included a note to me that I thought was worth placing here. He has been adding great articles for a year now, so this is sort of a “mile-stone article” for him. From the e-mail:

“Hello Sister.Lee,
Its been a great learning experience and a great honor to serve the Lord  though your website.. I am thrilled when I turned back and looked at how God has been so full of mercy and an inspiration which He gives us often through Birds.. Its been a year since you published my first article on 4th March 2010.. I just want to say a BIG THANK YOU for letting me be a part of this great site..
Thank you once again..
Regards and prayers to you and yours,
aj mithra”

The Red-eyed Vireo is in the Vireonidae, Vireos and Greenlets Family and is a Passerine or perching bird. There are 63 members in the family.