Vireo griseus griseus

Status:  Rare regular spring visitor east, rare casual central and west. Rare casual summer visitor east, rare casual central. Rare casual fall visitor east and central.

Documentation:  Specimen: UNSM ZM11885, 19 May 1910 Sarpy Co.

Taxonomy:  There are six subspecies currently recognized, three of these in Mexico and Bermuda (Pyle 1997); the others are micrus of south Texas and northeast Mexico, griseus (including noveboracensis) of the central and eastern USA, and maynardi of southern Florida. Nebraska birds are presumed griseus.

Changes Since 2000: This species has become of annual occurrence in the extreme southeast since about 2010.

Spring:  May 1, 1, 2 <<<>>> summer

Earlier dates are 6 Apr 1992 adult banded Bellevue, Sarpy Co, 20 Apr 2020 Scotts Bluff Co, 26 Apr 2014 Nemaha Co, and 26 Apr 2016 Sarpy Co.

The closest regular breeding is in extreme northeast Kansas (Thompson et al 2011), and so most Nebraska records are of spring overshoots.  It has recently become a regular spring visitor, with about 35 records since 1981, almost all from Douglas and Sarpy Cos and south along the lower Missouri River Valley.

Reports away from the lower Missouri River Valley since 1981 are: 1 May 2014 Lancaster Co (Brogie 2015), 2 May 2010 Johnson Co (Brogie 2011), 7 May 1986 Lancaster Co, 8 May 1983 Boone Co, 8 May 1987 Dakota Co, 10 May 1996 Lancaster Co, 11 May 2011 Seward Co (Brogie 2012), 13 May 2012 Lancaster Co, 21 May 2011 Lancaster Co, 25 May 2020 Lincoln Saline Wetlands Nature Park, Lincoln, Lancaster Co, and 26 May 2020 in a residential yard in Lincoln, Lancaster Co.

Elsewhere in the state there are these few reports: 20 Apr 2020 Scotts Bluff Co, 9 May 1994 Keith Co (Brown et al 1996), 11 May 2014 Boyd Co (Brogie 2015), 18 May 2005 Sioux Co, 20 May 1917 a specimen, HMM 2623, taken at Inland, Clay Co (Swenk, Notes Before 1925), 22 May 2020 Deuel Co, and 26 May 1976 Dawes Co (Rosche 1982).

Summer:  Johnsgard (1979) stated that at that time “breeding occurs in the Missouri Valley as far north as Sarpy County” but there have been no breeding records since 1920 (Ducey 1988). It does, however, breed north to the Nebraska border in extreme northeast Kansas (Thompson et al 2011) and quite likely has bred in adjacent Nebraska in recent years.

The most recent summer reports are 5 Jun-4 Jul 1978 Lancaster Co, 10 Jun 2016 Cornell Bridge, northeast Cherry Co, 18 Jun 2016 Fontenelle Forest, Sarpy Co, 20 Jun-24 Jul 1979 Douglas-Sarpy Cos, 24 Jun 1981 Lincoln Co, 25 Jul 1976 Fontenelle Forest, 28-29 Jul 2009 Knox Co (Brogie 2009), and 5 Aug 2015 Omaha, Douglas Co.

Fall: summer <<<>>> Sep 23, 25, 26

Later dates are 2 Oct 1994 Sarpy Co, 3 Oct 2010 adult at Imperial, Chase Co (Brogie 2011, Brogie 2012), 4-7 Oct 2013 Douglas Co (Brogie 2014), 9 Oct 2016 at Rock Creek SRA, Dundy Co (Brogie 2017), and a very late bird at Lake Ogallala 25 Oct 2000 (Jorgensen 2002). Several of the latest records are away from the east.

There about 30 reports for Aug-Oct, none for the Panhandle.


HMM: Hastings Municipal Museum
UNSM: University of Nebraska State Museum


Photograph (top) of a White-eyed Vireo at Fontenelle Forest, Sarpy Co 2 May 2009 by Phil Swanson.

Literature Cited

Brogie, M.A. 2009. 2009 (21st) Report of the NOU Records Committee. NBR 77: 160-168.

Brogie, M.A. 2011. 2010 (22nd) Report of the NOU Records Committee. NBR 79: 99-111.

Brogie, M.A. 2012. 2011 (23rd) Report of the NOU Records Committee. NBR 80: 112-122.

Brogie, M.A. 2014. 2013 (25th) Report of the NOU Records Committee. NBR 82: 131-146.

Brogie, M.A. 2015. 2014 (26th) Report of the NOU Records Committee. NBR 83: 125-138.

Brogie, M.A. 2017. 2016 (28th) Report of the NOU Records Committee. NBR 85: 128-142.

Brown, C.R., M.B. Brown, P.A. Johnsgard, J. Kren, and W.C. Scharf. 1996. Birds of the Cedar Point Biological Station area, Keith and Garden Counties, Nebraska: Seasonal occurrence and breeding data. Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences 23: 91-108.

Ducey, J.E. 1988. Nebraska birds, breeding status and distribution. Simmons-Boardman Books, Omaha, Nebraska, USA.

Johnsgard, P.A. 1979. Birds of the Great Plains: breeding species and their distribution.  University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, Nebraska, USA.

Jorgensen, J.G. 2002. 2002 (sic; =2000). (12th) Report of the NOU Records Committee. NBR 70: 84-90.

Pyle, P. 1997. Identification Guide to North American Birds. Part I, Columbidae to Ploceidae. Slate Creek Press, Bolinas, California, USA.

Rosche, R.C. 1982. Birds of northwestern Nebraska and southwestern South Dakota, an annotated checklist. Cottonwood Press, Crawford, Nebraska, USA.

Swenk, M.H. Notes before 1925. Bird notes from A.M. Brooking of Hastings, C.A. Black of Kearney, and B.J. Olson of Kearney, based chiefly on their collections, up to January 1, 1925. Typed manuscript in the Nebraska Ornithologists’ Union Archives, University of Nebraska State Museum, Lincoln, Nebraska, USA.

Thompson, M.C., C.A. Ely, B. Gress, C. Otte, S.T. Patti, D. Seibel, and E.A. Young. 2011. Birds of Kansas.  University Press of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, USA.

Recommended Citation

Silcock, W.R., and J.G. Jorgensen. 2021.  White-eyed Vireo (Vireo griseus). In Birds of Nebraska — Online. www.BirdsofNebraska.org

Birds of Nebraska – Online

Updated 5 Jun 2021