Photo: Nick Saunders
Probability of observation
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Number of squares
Long-term BBS trends
Mean abundance by region
Bird Conservation Regions [plot]
Mean abundance by habitat [plot]
Characteristics and Range The Red-eyed Vireo is noted for singing its pleasant song continuously, to the point of monotony. Song bouts can continue for 10 or 20 minutes without a break, giving rise to the old nickname of "Preacher Bird" (Bent 1950). The species breeds in deciduous woods across much of North America, including the Boreal Forest, but is absent from some western montane regions and the drier southwest of the continent. It is a long-distance migrant, wintering across central and northern South America.
Distribution, Abundance, and Habitat The Red-eyed Vireo is widely distributed in British Columbia, with major clusters of breeding in the northeast and across the southern interior. The Atlas maps a northwesterly expansion from the range shown by Campbell et al. (1997), into the valleys of the Omineca and Cassiar mountains and the lower Stikine River.
The species is most abundant in the Taiga Plains and Boreal Plains ecoprovinces. A secondary area of high Probability of Observation and moderate abundance values is in the valleys of the Southern Interior Mountains and adjacent Southern Interior ecoprovinces, where the Red-eyed Vireo was previously considered most numerous (Campbell et al. 1997). It is most abundant between 250 and 750 m, with very few records above 1000 m.
In British Columbia, the Red-eyed Vireo prefers tall stands of deciduous trees, most often in riparian areas. The exception to this is in the Boreal Plains and Taiga Plains ecoprovinces, where it occupies extensive stands of Balsam Poplar (Populus balsamifera) and tall Trembling Aspen (Populus tremuloides) in non-riparian areas. In southern and central British Columbia, the Red-eyed Vireo is found mostly in lowland riparian forests and the Warbling Vireo in upland deciduous stands, which is the reverse of the pattern seen in most of eastern North America.
Conservation and Recommendations There are no major conservation concerns for the Red-eyed Vireo, which has shown a slight long-term increasing trend across North America, based on the Breeding Bird Survey (Sauer et al. 2014), a stable population trend in British Columbia, and overall is one of the most abundant forest birds of North America (Cimprich et al. 2000).
Recommended citation: Weber, W.C. 2015. Red-eyed Vireo in Davidson, P.J.A., R.J. Cannings, A.R. Couturier, D. Lepage, and C.M. Di Corrado (eds.). The Atlas of the Breeding Birds of British Columbia, 2008-2012. Bird Studies Canada. Delta, B.C. http://www.birdatlas.bc.ca/accounts/speciesaccount.jsp?sp=REVI&lang=en [29 Feb 2024]
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