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yellow-throated vireo

yellow-throated vireo (Vireo flavifrons)
Photo © Alan Murphy Photography

Features and Behaviors

The yellow-throated vireo averages five inches in length. It has yellow throat feathers and a yellow line in front of each eye that continues around to encircle the eye. White bars are present on each wing. The back feathers are green-blue.

The yellow-throated vireo is a common migrant and summer resident statewide. Spring migrants begin arriving in Illinois in April. Nesting takes place from May through July. The nest is shaped like a cup and is placed in the fork of a branch from three to 60 feet above the ground. It is made of grasses, bark and spider silk, lined with grasses and covered on the outside with mosses and lichens. The female does most of the nest construction over a period of about seven days. Three to five white eggs with dark spots are laid by the female. Both the male and female take turns incubating over a 14-day incubation period. Fall migration begins in September. The yellow-throated vireo lives in open woodlands and orchards. It stays high in trees and doesn’t move around much. Its song is similar to that of the American robin with short phrases separated by pauses and repeated many times. This bird eats insects.

Illinois Range


​Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Vireonidae

Illinois Status: common, native