/vir"ee oh'/, n., pl. vireos.
any of several small, insectivorous American birds of the family Vireonidae, having the plumage usually olive-green or gray above and white or yellow below.
[1825-35; < NL; L vireo (Pliny), prob. the greenfinch, deriv. of virere to be green]

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Any of 42 species (family Vireonidae) of New World songbirds with a stout, slightly notched, hook-tipped bill that has fine bristles at the base.

Vireos are 4–7 in. (10–18 cm) long and are plain gray or greenish, with white or yellow touches. They glean insects from foliage in woodlands and thickets, repeating loud short phrases over and over. The nest is a cuplike structure suspended from a small fork in a branch. The red-eyed vireo (Vireo olivaceus), which breeds from southern Canada to Argentina, is 6 in. (15 cm) long and has a black-outlined, white eye stripe that contrasts with its gray crown.

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 any of about 50 species of New World birds (bird) in the order Passeriformes (passeriform). These include peppershrikes (peppershrike) and, according to some authorities, the shrike-vireos (shrike-vireo). About 15 tropical forms are called greenlets (greenlet), which used to be the common name for all vireos.

      New evidence from DNA places vireos as relatives of crows (crow), which are among the most evolutionarily advanced birds. Vireos are found only in the New World and are mostly rather plain and shy. They are usually 10 to 18 cm (4 to 7 inches) long, and both sexes are gray or green with white or yellow touches. The slightly notched and hook-tipped bill is stout but narrow, with fine bristles at the base. Vireos forage in trees and bushes for insects (insect) and take berries (berry) in fall and winter. Often they repeat loud short phrases over and over. Many vireos have distinctive courtship displays, in which they sometimes sway and flutter, and they often examine potential nest sites together. The vireo's nest is a cuplike structure suspended from a small fork of a branch, and the bird's eggs (egg) are white with sparse reddish-brown speckles.

      The best-known and most widely distributed species of vireo is the red-eyed vireo (Vireo olivaceus), which breeds from southern Canada to Argentina. It is 15 cm (6 inches) long, with a black-outlined white eye stripe that contrasts with the bird's gray crown. Similar in general appearance is the white-eyed vireo (V. griseus). In Bermuda, where it is common, it is known as “chick-of-the-village,” a moniker that repeats its snappy, distinctive song. The cheerful warbled song of the warbling vireo (V. gilvus) is a common sound in open woods throughout the North American summer. Like many vireos, warbling vireos migrate south in the autumn, flying at night and calling to their fellows as they fly.

Sy Montgomery

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Vireo — Vir e*o, n. [L., a species of bird.] (Zo[ o]l.) Any one of numerous species of American singing birds belonging to {Vireo} and allied genera of the family {Vireonid[ae]}. In many of the species the back is greenish, or olive colored. Called also… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • vireo — víreo (del lat. «virĕo») m. En algunos sitios *oropéndola (pájaro). ≃ Virio. * * * víreo. (Del lat. vireo). m. oropéndola. * * * Cualquiera de 42 especies (familia Vireonidae) de aves canoras del Nuevo Mundo con un grueso pico de punta ganchuda,… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • vireo — (n.) 1834, from L. vireo, a word Pliny uses for some kind of bird, perhaps the greenfinch, from virere be green (see VERDURE (Cf. verdure)). Applied in modern times to an Amer. bird …   Etymology dictionary

  • víreo — (Del lat. vireo). m. oropéndola …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • Vireo — Vireo, Vogel, s.u. Würger …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • vireo — ☆ vireo [vir′ē ō΄ ] n. pl. vireos [L, greenfinch, akin to virere, to be green] any of a family (Vireonidae) of small, insect eating, American passerine birds, with olive green or gray plumage vireonine [vir′ē ə nīn΄, vir′ē ənin] adj., n …   English World dictionary

  • Vireo — Taxobox name = Vireos image width = 250px image caption = Yellow throated Vireo ( Vireo flavifrons ) regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Aves ordo = Passeriformes subordo = Passeri familia = Vireonidae familia authority = Swainson, 1837 …   Wikipedia

  • Vireo — Vireo …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Vireo —   Vireo …   Wikipedia Español

  • Vireo — tikrieji vireonai statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Vireo angl. vireo rus. виреон, m; настоящий виреон, m pranc. viréo, m ryšiai: platesnis terminas – tikrieji vireonai siauresnis terminas – andinis vireonas siauresnis… …   Paukščių pavadinimų žodynas

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