Gray Vireo: Medium-sized vireo with gray upperparts, faint white spectacles, dark iris, and dull white underparts. The wings are dark gray with indistinct white bars. The sideways twitching of the tail is unique among vireos and is similar to gnatcatchers. Forages in low undergrowth.
Range and Habitat
Gray Vireo: Breeds from southern California east to Utah, south to western Texas and Baja California. Spends winters south of U.S.-Mexico border. Frequents dry brush, especially juniper, in the pinyon- and juniper-covered slopes of the southwestern mountains; also found in scrub oak and other types of chaparral.
Gray Vireos wintering in western Texas feed predominantly on insects. In southwestern Arizona and adjacent Sonora, Mexico, however, wintering birds shift from a largely insectivorous summer diet to one of predominantely fruits.
Although it catches most of its insect food along the branches of trees and shrubs, it captures more insects on the ground than most vireos. It has been seen to scratch on the ground with its feet like a foraging towhee.
The sideways twitching of its tail is unique among vireos and is reminiscent of that of gnatcatchers.
A group of vireos are collectively known as a "call" of vireos.
The Gray Vireo is a North American passerine species of small bird, breeding throughout a wide range. This bird breeds in the southwestern United States, northern Baja California and western Texas. During colder winter months, this species migrates to northwestern Mexico, western Sonora, the southern Baja Peninsula and Baja California Sur. The preferred habitat of the Gray Vireo includes dry bushy areas, and especially seeks out juniper bushes. They are also found on the slopes of southwestern mountain ranges. One resident population does exist in the Big Bend National Park in the Rio Grande river valley in southwestern Texas. The conservation rating of the Gray Vireo is Least Concern.