Family Vireos (Vireonidae)

Least Concern

White-eyed Vireo (Vireo griseus)


French: Viréo aux yeux blancs German: Weißaugenvireo Spanish: Vireo ojiblanco

Tanagra grisea


, 1783,

New Orleans, New Orleans Parish, Louisiana, USA


Probably closest to V. crassirostris; has been treated as conspecific with it, as well as with V. pallens, V. caribaeus or V. gundlachii. Form perquisitor has been considered a separate species#R, but shows relatively minor differences from other taxa, with much overlap; song phrases of present species variable, but no definite recordings of perquisitor voice available. Race noveboracensis sometimes synonymized with nominate. Seven subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • V. g. noveboracensis (J. F. Gmelin, 1789) – NC USA (Nebraska, Illinois and Indiana E to New York and Connecticut, S to Alabama); migrates to SE Mexico and S to Honduras, also Cuba.
  • V. g. griseus (Boddaert, 1783) – White-eyed Vireo – SE USA (coastal plain from S Virginia to N Florida, then W to Texas); migrates mainly to SE Mexico, N Guatemala, Belize and N Honduras.
  • V. g. maynardi Brewster, 1887 – S Florida.
  • V. g. bermudianus Bangs & Bradlee, 1901 – Bermuda.
  • V. g. micrus Nelson, 1899 – extreme S USA (S Texas) and NE Mexico (S to N San Luis Potosí).
  • V. g. marshalli A. R. Phillips, 1991 – EC Mexico (uplands of S San Luis Potosí and N Hidalgo).
  • V. g. perquisitor Nelson, 1900 – Veracruz Vireo – E Mexico (S San Luis Potosí, N Veracruz).
  • Descriptive notes

    10·7–13·0 cm; 10–14·3 g. Nominate race has forehead, crown and nape dull dark yellowish-grey, becoming olive-green on upperparts; eyering and... read more


    Song, by male on breeding grounds (female, too, sings in wintering area), of two types: primary... read more


    When breeding, various types of scrub, including abandoned farmland, and late to middle succession... read more

    Food and feeding

    Analysis of stomach contents during breeding season shows majority of food to be arthropods, mostly insects, moths and butterflies (... read more


    Season from early Apr (Texas) to late May (Virginia); apparently single-brooded. Monogamous; some infidelity by female appears to occur on... read more


    N races (nominate, noveboracensis) entirely migratory, wintering in S Mexico and Yucat... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common to rather uncommon. Population density heavily dependent on habitat, prime locations supporting 2–3 pairs/ha. Scrub habitat most... read more

    Recommended citation

    Brewer, D. (2019). White-eyed Vireo (Vireo griseus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 14 November 2019).