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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Gray Vireo -- Vireo vicinior


RANGE: Breeds locally from southern California, southern Nevada, southern Utah, and northwestern and central New Mexico south to Baja California, central and southeastern Arizona, southern New Mexico, western Texas, and central Mexico. Also in western Oklahoma. Winters in southern Arizona, western Texas, and western Mexico.

STATUS: Rare to locally common.

HABITAT: Inhabits thorn scrub, oak-juniper woodland, pinyon-juniper, dry chaparral, mesquite, and riparian willow habitats. Favors dry chaparral that forms a continuous zone of twigs 1 to 5 feet above ground.

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Low, dense shrubs.

NEST: Builds a basketlike cup nest that is suspended 3 to 8 feet above the ground from the forks of twigs in a variety of low, thorny shrubs and small trees.

FOOD: Gleans food (mostly insects) from leaves and branches of scrub oaks and other thickets.

REFERENCES: Chapin 1925, Johnsgard 1979, Terres 1980, Terrill in Farrand 1983c.


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