Yellow-throated Vireo

Vireo flavifrons

A bird of open deciduous forests, the Yellow-throated Vireo is the most colorful member of its family in North America.

Cool Facts

Photo taken from:
The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western North America by David Allen Sibley
  • While the Yellow-throated Vireo is associated with forest edge habitat, it actually requires large blocks of forest to breed successfully. Numbers decrease sharply in forests smaller than 100 hectares (250 acres) in the northeastern United States.
  • The Yellow-throated Vireo is typically a solitary bird on migration and during the winter. It forms only loose associations with mixed-species foraging flocks. In the summer, pairs associate only long enough to raise a brood of young.
  •  A group of vireos are collectively known as a "call" of vireos.
  • It requires large blocks of forest to breed successfully. Numbers decrease sharply in forests smaller than 250 acres in the northeastern United States.
  • The Yellow-throated Vireo was first described in 1808 by Louis Jean Pierre Vieillot, a French ornithologist.
  • Their numbers have decreased in recent years because of the spraying of trees with toxic chemicals.


Adult Description

  • Small songbird.
  • Olive green upperparts.
  • Bright yellow throat, breast, and eye spectacles.
  • Belly and under tail white.
  • Two white wingbars.

Immature Description

Similar to adult, but paler yellow below and more brownish above.
Range Map
Taxonomic Hierarchy


© 2003 Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
     Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Vireonidae
Genus: Vireo
Species: Vireo flavifrons
Song a broken series of burry two- and three-syllable phrases.



Identification and Information
See Anatomy of a Bird
  • Length Range: 13-15 cm (5-6 in)
  • Weight: 17 g (0.6 oz)
  • Size: Small (5 - 9 in)
  • Color Primary: White, Yellow, Olive
  • Underparts: Yellow and white.
  • Upperparts: Olive-green to gray rump.
  • Back Pattern: Solid
  • Belly Pattern: Solid
  • Breast Pattern: Solid
  • Bill Shape: All-purpose
  • Eye Color: Dark brown.
  • Head Pattern: Eyeline, Plain, Eyering
  • Crown Color: Olive-green
  • Forehead Color: Olive-green with yellow stripe to eye.
  • Nape Color: Olive-green
  • Throat Color: Yellow
  • Cere color: No Data
  • Flight Pattern: Fluttering direct flight with rapid wing beats.
  • Wingspan Range: 23-25 cm (9-10 in)
  • Wing Shape: Pointed-Wings
  • Tail Shape: Pointed Tail
  • Tail Pattern: Solid
  • Upper Tail: Black
  • Under Tail: White
  • Leg Color: Gray
  • Breeding Location: Forest
  • Breeding Type: Monogamous, Solitary nester
  • Breeding Population: Fairly common in range
  • Egg Color: White to light pink with brown spots at large end
  • Number of Eggs: 3 - 5
  • Incubation Days: 14
  • Egg Incubator: Both sexes
  • Nest Material: Lined with plant material., Grasses covered with lichens.
  • Migration: Migratory
  • Condition at Hatching: Helpless with tufts of down.

Other Names

Similar Species

  • Viréo à gorge jaune (French)
  • Vireo pechiamarillo, Verdón de pecho amarillo, Vireo gargantiamarillo, Vireo gorgiamarillo (Spanish)
  • No other vireo has bright yellow throat and chest.
  • Pine Warbler has dusky streaking on yellow chest, white tail spots, and an eyeline, not spectacles.
  • Yellow-breasted Chat lacks wingbars, has white spectacles and a longer tail.

Conservation Status

Has disappeared from some small forest areas, but is increasing slightly rangewide.


Sources used to Construct this Page:

Breeds in a variety of edge habitats in mature deciduous and mixed deciduous forests.
  • Rodewald, P. G., and R. D. James. 1996. Yellow-throated Vireo (Vireo flavifrons). In The Birds of North America, No. 247 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.
Arthropods, some fruits and seeds.
Forages in middle and uppers stories of forest, gleaning insects off trunks, branches and leaves. Moves slowly from place to place and searches for a relatively long time from one spot.

Adult Sexes Similar

IMGP6980.jpg (122988 bytes)

Additional Photos & Video

Adult Sexes Similar


All photos © 2008 Rick Swartzentrover - Free for non-profit use.

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