Yellow-throated Vireo

Vireo flavifrons
Yellow-throated Vireo specimens on display in the exhibit "Birds of D.C."

A medium-sized (5 inches) vireo, the Yellow-throated Vireo is most easily identified by its yellow breast, gray tail, gray wings with white wing bars, and olive-green back and head with conspicuous yellow eye-rings. This species may be separated from the Philadelphia Vireo (Vireo philadelphicus), which also has a yellow breast, by that species’ plain brownish-gray wings and tail. Male and female Yellow-throated Vireos are similar to one another in all seasons. The Yellow-throated Vireo breeds across much of the eastern United States and southern Canada. Within this range, this species is mostly absent as a breeding bird from northern New England, south Florida, and the western Gulf coast of Louisiana and Texas. Yellow-throated Vireos spend the winter from southern Mexico and the Bahamas south to northern South America. Yellow-throated Vireos breed in a variety of deciduous or mixed deciduous and evergreen woodland habitats. During the winter, this species may be found along the edges of tropical forests. Yellow-throated Vireos primarily eat small insects, but also eat small quantities of fruits and berries during the winter. In appropriate habitat, Yellow-throated Vireos may be seen foraging for food on leaves and branches at middle heights in the canopy. Birdwatchers may also listen for this species’ song, a series of buzzing notes vaguely recalling portions of American Robin songs. Yellow-throated Vireos are primarily active during the day, but, like many migratory songbirds, this species migrates at night.

DC Information

Common summer resident, arriving in mid-April and leaving in mid-September. Breeds mid-April to late July, in lowland and floodplain forests. Sexes are similar.

Specimen Information

An adult female is at the lower right.
Date:  8/24/1887
Collected By:  CW Richmond/R Ridgway
Locality:  Gainsville, VA
Sex:  Female Adult
Catalog ID:  123082
This may be the record for the bird on the left.
Date:  8/14/1910
Collected By:  JH Riley
Locality:  Falls Church, VA
Sex:  Female ? Juvenile
Catalog ID:  213046
This may be the record for the bird in the center which may be a juvenile.
Date:  5/12/1912
Collected By:  JH Riley
Locality:  Falls Church, VA
Sex:  Male ?
Catalog ID:  234156

Distribution Map

distribution map for this species

Bird Vocalizations

Sound from xeno-canto. XC54828 Vireo flavifrons (Yellow-throated Vireo)

Sound from xeno-canto. XC55761 Vireo flavifrons (Yellow-throated Vireo)

Sound from xeno-canto. XC31129 Vireo flavifrons (Yellow-throated Vireo)