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Bell's Vireo - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Stanley Jones
Brewster County, Texas, May, 2014
Eastern subspecies V. b. bellii
Photo by jmorlan
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California, USA, October 2005
Vireo bellii


12-13 cm

  • Dull olive-grey above
  • Whitish below
  • Faint white eye ring and wing bars
  • Olive green rump
  • Grey-black bill
  • Brown eyes
  • Dark grey-blue-black legs

Sexes alike


Western United States and northern Mexico; winters from Mexico south to Nicaragua. Accidental vagrant to eastern United States.



Polytypic. Consists of four subspecies.

  • V. b. medius:
  • South-western Texas to southern Durango and southern Coahuila; winters to Oaxaca
  • V. b. bellii:
  • V. b. arizonae (Arizona):
  • South-western US; winters from Baja and central Sonora to Colima
  • V. b. pusillus (Least):
  • Arid southern California; winters to southern Baja


Arid scrubland areas.



The diet includes insects and spiders.


It makes a well-camouflaged basket-like cup nest from grass, straw-like stems, plant fibres, small skeletonized leaves, paper, and strips of bark fastened with spider silk;it is lined with fine, brown or yellow grass stems. Outside it is decorated with spider egg cases. 3-5 white with sparse spotting eggs are laid.


  1. Clements, JF. 2008. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2008. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. Wikipedia
  3. BirdForum Member observations

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